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ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH 



By 

TIMOTHY TEMILOIA AJANI 



A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL 
OF THE UNr/ERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT 
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF 
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY 

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 



2001 



This work is dedicated to the loving memory of: 
Jim Sharp, Jr.: 
From the heavenly grandstands 
I know you wear a proud grin at the 
conclusion of this work; 
and 

My late father, Jacob Ajani, 
who taught me how to read and write Yoruba at home 
while living in a foreign country; 
And to 

My mother, Rebecca Madand61a Ajani, 
who has endured many years of my absence from home 
while I pursued my education from one institution to another and 
from one nation to another. 



ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 



Successful completion of any exercise usually reflects the efforts of 
more than one individual. This dissertation would never have been written 
without the help, collaboration, encouragement, prayers and goodwill of a host 
of people, both here in the United States and back home in Nigeria. 

Foremost, my sincere gratitude goes to the chairperson of my doctoral 
committee, Professor. M.J. Hardman who taught me how to look at language 
critically and through unbiased lenses, to question assumptions and 
previously held opinions, in the spirit of humility. I appreciate her patience 
and thoroughness, especially during the initial stages of this study. I 
appreciate her kindness, gentleness and sense of humor. I thank her for 
adopting me and my young family into her own family. My first son fondly 
calls her "grandma." Working with her one-on-one has been a real privilege. 
I have benefitted immensely from her excellent linguistic insights and 
intuitions. 

I also express my sincere gratitude to the other members of my 
committee. I have learnt much about language and linguistics from them. I 
worked closely with these committee members: Professor Jean Casagrande, Dr. 
Diana Boxer, Dr. Peter Schmidt, and Professor Marie Nelson. Although 
Professor Marie Nelson was the last to formally join the committee, she was 
already a voluntary adjunct member. She willingly stepped in when Professor 
Olabiyi Yai left the University to take a permanent assignment as 
representative for his country at UNESCO. 



iii 



Drs. Casagrande and Yai were instrumental in bringing me to this 
University, after I had completed my DEA (M. Phil, equivalent) in Paris, 
France. When he was Chair of the Department of African and Asian Languages 
and Literatures (AALL), Dr. Yai offered me an open-ended teaching 
assistantship at the AALL during the Spring and Fall semesters, and 
occasionally during the summer. Dr. Casagrande, then director of the Program 
in Linguistics (PIL) and the English Language Institute (ELI), offered me 
summer assistantships at the ELI during my first two years here. I taught 
Yoruba for several years under the supervision of Dr. Yai, until he left for 
France two years ago. I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) at the 
ELIunder the leadership of Dr. Casagrande and later, Dr. Boxer. My interest in 
and love for Sociolinguistics really blossomed while I was a student in Dr. 
Boxer's Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) classes. 

I am deeply indebted to Dr. Marie Nelson, who voluntarily offered to 
read through all of my manuscripts, offering fresh insights, and making 
useful comments and corrections.At the time, she was busy discharging her 
many duties as director of the PIL. Dr. Peter Schmidt, Director of the Center for 
African Studies, gave me a summer dissertation grant to do research in 
Nigeria, and I thank him very much. I give many thanks go to Dr. Ann Wyatt- 
Brown, who willingly offered me her personal laptop computer to use for as 
along as I needed it, when I began my studies here in Gainesville. It was also 
she who encouraged me to publish my first article in FOCUS on Linguistics, the 
University of Florida working papers in Linguistics. 

My experience at the University of Florida would have been very 
different without the support of friends, colleagues, students and family, here, 
in the United States, back home in Nigeria, and in other places. I am very 
grateful for all the encouragement, financial support, and prayer support I 



iv 



have received over many years from groups and individuals alike: members of 
the IGS Fellowship in Ibadan, Nigeria, Living Faith Fellowship in Gainesville 
and my home group at The Rock of Gainesville, as well as the following 
individuals: Dr. Michael and Alanna Boutin, the late Jim Sharp, Jr., who paid 
for my first personal computer and printer with which this dissertation was 
written; the Falades, Tom and Sharon Stebbins, Bill and Fay Alexander, Rob and 
Sheryl Norton, Key and Ruth Ann Powell, Nellie Otero, Beth Alexander, the late 
C.R., and Evelyn Smith, my "big sister", Marylyn Perazzini and "little brother", 
Derek Tirado; Ms. Agnes Leslie; Beve Gunderson, Rena Smith, Kim Hewitt, Rosie 
Piedra Hall, Jeanette Flanders and Ashley Hicks; Troy and Renee Clark, Carol 
Lauriault, and the entire staff of the CAS. Outside of Florida, many thanks go to 
my dear friends, Drs. Austin and Udy Inyang of Oklahoma; my "little sisters" 
Feyi and Foluk6, both of the United Kingdom; and my longtime friends, Drs. 
George and Omolade Alao of France. 

Finally, my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation go to my family, both 
immediate and extended, especially my siblings, my late father, and my aging 
mother, Rebecca Madand61a, who has seen very little of me since I began my 
long journey in academia; and lastly, my dear wife and life companion, 
aajumok^ Olufunmilayo and our two precious sons, Ay9<?la Uerioluwa and 
Ibukun Olubus^la, who have weathered the long summers and winters with me 
here in Gainesville, with a lot of understanding, patience and equanimity. To 
you all I say "E se o. E ku adurbti; a 6 ko ere oko dele o. Anun." 



v 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



page 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii 

KEY TO SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS ix 

ABSTRACT xi 

CHAPTERS 

1. INTRODUCTION 1 

1.1 The Yoruba People 1 

1.2 The Yoruba Language 9 

1.2.1 Phonology 12 

1.2.2 Morphology 15 

1.2.3 Syntax 16 

1.3 The Dynamics of Yoruba and English in Nigeria 21 

2. ASPECT IN YORUBA 29 

2.1 The Nature of the Verb Phrase (VP) in Yoruba 42 

2.2.1 The Incompletive Aspect 44 

2.2.2 The Relational Aspect 45 

2.2.3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker 45 

2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker 46 

2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) 46 

2.2.6 The Anticipative + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) 46 

2.2.7 The Completive Aspect 47 

2.3 Aspect in Yoruba 47 

2.3.1 Aspect Constraints on Person Marking and Pronoun Selection... 48 

2.3.1.1 Intentional + regular pronoun 51 

2.3.1.2 Intentional + emphatic pronoun 51 

2.3.1.3 Completive aspect + regular pronoun 53 

2.3.1.4 Completive aspect + emphatic pronoun. 53 

2.3.1.5 Relational aspect + regular pronoun 54 

vi 



2.3.1.6 Relational aspect + emphatic pronoun 54 

2.3.1.7 Habitual Aspect + regular pronoun 54 

2.3.1.8 Habitual Aspect + emphatic pronoun 55 

2.3.1.9 Antecedent completion + regular pronoun 55 

2.3.1.0 Antecedent completion + emphatic pronoun 56 ; 

2.3.2 The Simple Aspect Series 56 

2.3.2.1 The Completive Aspect (Unmarked) 56 

23.2.2 The Incompletive Aspect 58 

2.3.2.3 The Relational Aspect 59 

2.3.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects 59 

2.3.2.4.1 The anticipative aspect * 60 

2.3.2.4.2 The intentional aspect 61 

2.3.3 The Complex Aspect Series 63 

2.3.3.1 Backgrounder 64 

2.3.3.2 Expective 65 

2.3.3.3 Inceptive 66 

2.3.3.4 Manifestive 68 

2.3.3.5 Antecedent Completion 68 

2.3.3.6 Relevant-Inceptive 70 

2.3.3.7 Habitual 71 

2.3.3.8 Two Major Categories of the Complex Aspects 72 

2.3.3.8.1 Those involving the relational aspect 73 

2.3.3.8.2 Those not involving the relational 78 

- 4 

2.4 Aspect Markers in Context 80 

2.4.1 Completive (Unmarked) Aspect 81 

2.4.2 Incompletive Aspect 8i 

2.4.3 Relational Aspect 82 

2.4.4 Anticipative Aspect 82 

2.4.5 Intentional Aspect 82 

2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive Aspect 84 

2.4.7 Expective Aspect 84 

2.4.8 Habitual Aspect 84 . 

2.5 Temporal Relations in Yoruba 85 



vii 



3. ASPECT IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH 88 

3.1 Amos Tutuola: the Man 93 

3.2 Amos Tutuola: his Works 98 

3.3 Amos Tutuola: his Accomplishments 105 

3.4 Aspect in Tutuola's Writings 107 

3.4.1 The Incompletive Aspect 112 

3.4.2 The Habitual Aspect 122 

3.4.3 The Anticipative Aspect 125 

3.4.4 The Relational Aspect 128 

3.4.5 The Relevant-Inceptive 130 

4. CONCLUSION 133 

4.1 Summary 133 

4.2 Implications 141 

APPENDIX 148 

REFERENCES 198 

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 211 



viii 



KEY TO SYMBOLS AND ABBREVIATIONS 





Fxplanaiion of Glossary 


ANT(E) COMP 


antecedent completion aspect 


ANTI/ANTICIP 


anticipative aspect 


BACKGRD 


backgrounder aspect 


BAH 


The Brave African Huntress 


BE 


British English 


CLT 


Communicative Language Teaching 


CV 


consonant vowel 


DIREC 


directional 


EL 


English language 


Emp/EMP/EP 


emphatic pronoun 


ESL 


English as a second language 


ESP 


English for specific purposes 


HABIT 


habitual aspect 


HE 


Hausa English 


ICE 


International Corpus of English 


IE 


Igbo English 


INCOM/INCOMP 


incompletive aspect 


INT/INTEN 


intentional aspect 


INTV 


interrogative verb 


LBG 


My Life in the Bush of Ghosts 


LOG 


locative 


LI 


mother tongue 


L2 


second language 


MANIFEST 


manifestive aspect 


NE 


Nigerian English 


NEG 


negator 


NP 


noun phrase 


NPE 


Nigerian Pidgin English 


O/Obj/OBJ 


object 


PART 


particle 


PLU/PLUR 


plural 


PP 


prepositional phrase 


PREP 


preposition 


PWD 


The Palm-Wine Drinkard 


RELA/RALAT 


relational aspect 


REL(EV)-INCEP 


relevant-incpetive aspect 


RP 


regular pronoun 


SF&F 


Science Fiction and Fantasy 


SNE 


Standard Nigerian English 


SVC(s) 


serial verbal construction s) 


SVO 


subject-verb-object 


V- 


vowel 


VP 


verb phrase 


YE 


Yoruba English 



ix 





Explanation of Glossary 


YL 


Yoruba language 


YSL 


Yoruba as a second language 


YVP 


Yoruba verb phrase 


lpP 


first person plural 


IpS 


first person singular 


2pP 


second person plural 


2pS 


second person singular 


3pP 


third person plural 


3pS 


third person singular 



X 



Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School 
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the 
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy 



ASPECT IN YORUBA AND NIGERIAN ENGLISH 

By 

Timothy Temilola Ajani 
May, 2001 

Chair: Dr. M.J. Hardman 
Major Department: Linguistics 

Yoruba, has, for the most part, been analyzed by earlier grammarians 
from the perspective of English, thus leading to an English-oriented analysis 
of the language. This study presents a strictly aspect-based analysis of Yoruba 
and its application to Tutuola's work and Nigerian English. Twelve identified 
aspects are subdivided into two main categories comprising five simple and 
seven complex aspects. 

This dissertation makes an original contribution to Yoruba grammar by 
its presentation of Yoruba as an aspect-based language, rather than a tense- 
based one, as previous analyses have often tended to suggest. A closer look at 
Tutuola's English reveals that many of the idiosyncracies of his language are a 
result of the unconscious transfer of the aspectual system of his native Yoruba 
into the English of his writings. What this shows is that in Nigeria, the Yoruba 
language has influenced the way English is written and interpreted. Data from 
The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, and The Brave African 
Huntress, three of Amos Tutuola's earliest novels, were used to demonstrate 
this important influence on the work of Tutuola, a native of Yorubaland who, 



xi 



in choosing to write in English, also chose not to leave behind many of the 
features of his first language. 

The implications of this study are several. At the disciplinary level, the 
study affords the opportunity to capture linguistic data as they develop and to 
provide fresh insights into the internal workings of the Yoruba verb phrase 
in general and aspectual relations in particular. These insights enhance our 
understanding of the Yoruba language as a linguistic system. The study has 
implications for the history of the English language. The study also leads to an 
understanding that language contact is a two-way process. When two 
languages come into contact, mutual influences at various levels of grammar 
and usage are inevitable. 

At the national and international levels, our understanding of the 
language of Tutuola's work can affect the way English is taught in nations 
where English is a second language. Our understanding also can affect the way 
Yoruba is taught to speakers of English as a first language. The results of this 
study also have general implications for the theory of second language 
learning and teaching and for the science of language in general, as it could 
lead to a better understanding of the role the mother tongue plays in the 
acquisition of a second language in non-native contexts. 



xii 



CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 

The purpose of this chapter is to provide a brief historical and linguistic 
background to Yoruba--the people and the language-and Nigerian English 
(NE). It answers the following pertinent questions: who are the Yoruba? (§1.1); 
what does the Yoruba language look like? (§1.2); how did the English language 
get into Nigeria and Yorubaland in particular? and finally, how do both 
languages interact within the linguistic and socio-cultural environment in 
which they co-exist? (§1.3). The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of 
the major themes of subsequent chapters. 

1.1 The Yoruba People 

The Yoruba are a group of people whose identity is linked by common 
origins: a common ancestry to Oduduwa; a common language ~ Yoruba; and a 
common historical link to the ancient city of He- If e as cultural and spiritual 
headquarters and cradle of the race (cf. Ajani 1998: 12-13). All the groups of 
people who consider themselves as Yoruba also identify themselves by these 
three common bonds. Apart from ancestry and language, all Yoruba peoples 
also share a great similarity in culture and religious background. 

Today most of the Yoruba occupy southwestern Nigeria. Smaller 
communities exist in the neighboring republics of Benin and Togo to the west. 
Yorubaland thus encompasses three different nations, with different modern 
histories. Benin and Togo, for example, were colonized by the French, while 
Nigeria was colonized by the British during the colonial period. Thus we find 



1 



2 



Yoruba people today who use French as an official language (those in Benin 
and Togo) while others use English (in Nigeria). There is also a strong Yoruba 
cultural presence in Sierra-Leone (home of the late Bishop Samuel Ajayi 
Crowther, who laid the foundation for Yoruba studies by translating the Bible 
and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress into Yoruba and by writing the first 
dictionary and orthography of the language). Here the descendants of Yoruba 
freed slaves who were resettled after abolition of the obnoxious trade in 
human beings still bear Yoruba names and carry on Yoruba culture. The 
Yoruba language made the greatest contribution to the grammar, vocabulary 
and sound systems of the Krio (Creole) language of Sierra-Leone, the principal 
lingua franca of this tiny West-African coastal nation (UNESCO 1985). Today, 
about 25-30 million Yoruba people live in Yorubaland, with probably several 
million more in the diaspora around the world. 

Although Oyewumi (1997: 29-30) argues that Oduduwa, ancestor of the 
Yoruba is represented as female in some accounts, in Yoruba folklore he is 
generally considered to be the son of Olodumare, the Creator and life-giver, 
the all-knowing, all-powerful and self-existent God who lives in the skies from 
where he rules over all of creation with the help of the orisa or lesser gods 
who also serve as his intermediaries. As for Olodumare, Oyewumi observes that 
as a god this mythic figure could not have had gender. 

According to the legend, it was Oduduwa who created dry land from the 
huge mass of water after his older brother, Obatala failed, through negligence, 
in the commission given to him by Olodumare. It is also believed that Oduduwa 
molded the first human shapes out of clay. Furthermore, Oduduwa's sixteen 
sons (cf. Oyewumi 1997 for more detailed discussion on the genderization of 
Yoruba) were sent out to found and to govern the various cities and kingdoms 
that constitute present Yorubaland. So strong and central is the figure of 



3 



Oduduwa to the identity of the Yoruba that they fondly refer to themselves as 
"Cmo Oduduwa" (children, or descendants of Oduduwa). In fact the ancestors of 
modern day Yoruba people did not always refer to themselves by this name, 
nor even consider themselves as one people, although they had much in 
common. 

The origin of the name "Yoruba" itself is still shrouded in obscurity. It 
is, however, believed to have been conferred on the Yoruba people by their 
Hausa neighbors to the north who used to refer to the people of the old Oyo 
Empire as the "Yariba." Europeans then appropriated this name and began to 
use it to refer to all the speakers of the Yoruba language. The present 
generalized application is a result, then, of further extension. In fact, for a 
long time only the Oyo people were referred to as Yoruba. The other Yoruba 
groups bore their own distinct names (such as Ijesa, Ekiti, Egba, Ijebu, etc.) 
until the language became standardized by missionary-linguists in the 
nineteenth century, at which point it came to be applied to all of Oduduwa's 
descendants. 

Apart from the name Yoruba, Oduduwa's descendants were called by 
several other names before the current name Yoruba arose. In the past, 
Europeans called them the "Aku," a word derived from Yoruba greetings, most 
of which begin with "E ku" or "A ku". This label was originally used to 
describe the freed slaves from Yorubaland who were later resettled in Sierra- 
Leone. Their Hausa neighbors to the north still call them by the name 
"Yorubawa." Once, the Yoruba were also refered to as the "Ey6," a term 
obviously derived from "Oy6." In the diaspora, enslaved Yorubas were referred 
to as "Nago" in Brazil and "Lukumi" in Cuba. "Nago" is a derivative of the 
name of one of the twenty Yoruba groups known as the Anago. "Lukumi" is a 
word derived from the Yoruba phrase "Oluku mi," meaning "My friend." 



Lukumi also has become a generic name in Cuba where it has some other 
variants such as Licomim, Ulkumi and Ulkami. 

Although oral history puts the origins of Ile-Ife at around 8 B.C., 
linguistic and archaeological evidence suggest that the Yoruba emerged near 
the Niger-Benue confluence some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. From here, it is 
believed, they migrated to their present location between the eighth and 
eleventh centuries. Historians tell us that a powerful Yoruba kingdom already 
existed in Ile-Ife by the eighth century: one of the earliest in Africa south of 
the Sahel region. 

The Yoruba are among the most urbanized people in Africa. For 
centuries before the arrival of the British colonial administration most Yoruba 
already lived in well structured urban centers organized around powerful 
city-states (ilu) centered around the residence of the oba (ruler). In ancient 
times, most of these cities were fortresses, with high walls and gates. Yoruba 
cities always have been among the most populous in Africa. Recent 
archaeological findings indicate that Oyo-ile, capital of the Yoruba empire of 
Oyo that flourished between 1000 and 1840 A.D. had a population of over 100,000 
people (the largest single population in Africa at that time in history). For a 
long time, Ibadan, one of the major Yoruba cities, was the largest city in the 
whole of western Africa. Today, Lagos, another major Yoruba city, with a 
population of about eight to ten million, remains the second largest in Africa, 
apart from being the main commercial and economic nerve center of Nigeria 
and the entire West-African sub-region. It also was the political capital of 
Nigeria for decades, until very recently when a new capital (Abuja) was 
founded in the center of the country. 

The Yoruba are traditionally an agricultural people, as their 
environment in conducive to farming. The Yoruba evidently, have always 



5 



lived in large cities. Each city usually is surrounded by an elaborate network 
of farmlands (oko) around which villages (abule) developed. Each city- 
dwelling family generally also had a farm in the village. Although most 
Yoruba people live in the villages, the city is considered the center of 
civilization, culture and religion. Each year village dwellers go back to their 
respective cities for annual religious festivities and social celebrations. 
Carnivals in Brazil and other places in the Yoruba diaspora probably 
originated from these annual festivals (Abimbola 1998: 36). The annual Osun 
Festival of Osogbo has now become an international event that attracts people 
from all over the world, especially people from the diaspora. 

Traditionally, most Yoruba women specialized in commercial activities 
such as marketing and trading. While the men did most of the farming, the 
women bought produce from farms and sold it at the markets. They also sold 
cloths woven by the men as well as tie-dyes made by the women. This middle- 
person role played by the women generally made them wealthy and 
financially independent. For this reason, Yoruba women do not fit the usual 
traditional Western definition of a wife and a mother. Part of the role of a wife 
and mother among the Yoruba is that of provider, which subsumes economic 
activity and financial independence. 

Although traditionally the Yoruba are agricultural people, today the 
Yoruba could be found engaged in practically all forms of modern day 
professions, ranging from education to medicine, arts and science to cutting- 
edge high-tech jobs in technology and the computer industry. In fact, the first 
African and black person to win the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature, 
Wole Soyinka, is Yoruba. Though Soyinka's English is elegant and complex in 
the usual sense, it is also distinctive in its use of Yoruba structures and 
discourse features. 



6 



The Yoruba also are known around the world for their artwork. Their 
naturalistic bronze and terra-cotta sculptures are found in museums all over 
the world, among them the famous Ife heads. So remarkable were the 
sculptures produced in Ile-Ife that when the German ethnographer, Leo 
Frobenius, visited Ile-Ife in 1911, he could not believe what he saw with his 
eyes and made up stories that they must have been the relics of the lost city of 
Atlantis. Today, it is believed that these great works of art must have been 
created by Yoruba sculptors. It is also no longer a hidden fact that some of 
these great works of art were imitated by some of the great European artists. 

The Yoruba are probably best known around the world for their 
traditional religious belief system based on a pantheon of orisa (lesser 
divinities). Yoruba traditional religion consists of a pantheon of two hundred 
one (or four hundred one, according to other accounts) orisa. Names of the 
well-known deities are Ogun, Sango and If a or Orunmila, Other major deities 
include Osun, Oya and Yemoja, Obatala or Orisanla, Sdnpdnna, FJa and Esu. The 
Yoruba believe that Olodumare, the creator of all drisa and humans, is too 
powerful to be worshipped directly by mere mortals. Thus they need the 
intermediary role of the orisa, who are considered to be much closer to 
humans, becomes apparent The orisa are thus seen as the mediators between 
Olodumare, the high God and mortals. 

The worship of some of these deities was transported across the Atlantic 
during the Trans- Atlantic slave trade in the 1800s, during which time many 
Yoruba people were forcefully uprooted to the New World as slaves for 
plantation owners of European descent. This resulted in a large Yoruba 
diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbeans, where Yoruba culture and 
religion is still very much vibrant and active, especially in places like Brazil, 
Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as in more recent revivals in the 



7 



United States. These enslaved Yoruba took along with them their traditional 
religious beliefs and married these to Catholic Saints to produce such syncretic 
belief systems as Santeria (in Cuba and the Caribbeans) and Candomble (in 
Brazil). In Cuba, for instance, the enslaved Africans superimposed Catholic 
saints on Yoruba deities to hide their true religious practices from their brutal 
slave masters and missionaries. In the United States, it is estimated that more 
than a million people in the Northeast alone practice some form of Yoruba 
religion with more than 5,000 stores selling Santeria paraphernalia 
(Honebrink 1993: 46). Today New York and Washington D.C. remain a vibrant 
center of Yoruba religious activity. In South Carolina, Oy6tunji Village (Qyo 
has revived) stands as a constant reminder of the ongoing Yoruba renaissance 
in the United States of America. 

Although Yoruba religion spread its influences beyond Yorubaland and 
Africa, the Yoruba also embraced other religions, especially the two major 
world religions, Christianity and Islam. The Yoruba are tolerant of other 
religions, opinions, and ideas. Therefore it is not surprising that right now 
most Yoruba people embrace Christianity and many have converted to Islam. 
Just as new adherents embrace Yoruba religious beliefs, so have the Yoruba 
themselves been open to new religious ideas from other parts of the world. 
There is peaceful co-existence among people of different religious 
persuasions. Often Christian and Muslim Yorubas also practice their family 
religious traditions, side by side with their adopted religions. Yoruba Muslims 
often go to church functions with their Christian friends and relatives and 
vice versa. In fact, I know of a Yoruba couple in Gainesville. The husband is a 
Catholic and the wife is a Muslim. Each of them still practice their different 
religions. They have been happily married for more than twenty years now 
and have four well adapted children. A Yoruba proverb says "Esin-in baba kd 



8 



le gbomo la," meaning the religious beliefs of the father cannot save the 
children. The wisdom of this proverb, in essence, is that we each must seek our 
own salvation. 

Finally, the Yoruba are also known for their rich and vibrant literary 
tradition, especially their oral poetry which has attracted literary luminaries 
from around the world. Yoruba oral literature is rich in proverbs and wise 
sayings that reflect the values, hopes and aspirations of its people. Much 
respect is given to old age among the Yoruba because the elderly are believed 
to be the repositories of wisdom and knowledge. Old age is thus highly revered 
among the Yoruba. In fact, probably the most important prayer that an older 
person can say to a younger one is "O maa dagba darugbo" (You shall grow old 
and be full of years). Since the Yoruba are very religious, prayers play a very 
important part in day to day communication, activities, and interactions. 
Probably Yoruba religion and culture are the two most important 
contributions of the Yoruba to world civilization. Every civilization and 
culture undergoes changes over time and Yoruba is no exception. Their 
culture and civilization have undergone changes and modifications over the 
years, from both internal dynamics and external pressures. Such were the 
imposition of European rule on Yorubaland during the colonial era and the 
introduction of both Islam and Christianity at different times of their history. 
The Yoruba have used all of these challenges and experiences to better their 
lot and to advance their own civilization, adopting some changes that they 
consider as progressive while throwing away others that are not viewed in 
positive light. 



9 

1.2 The Yoruba Language 

Yoruba belongs to the Yoruboid group of the Kwa branch of the Niger- 
Congo family of languages, which cuts across most of sub-Saharan Africa. It is 
the largest of the five main language families of Africa. The others are 
Nilo-Saharan, Afro-Asiatic, Khoisan and Austronesian (mainly in the island 
nation of Madagascar). About half the population of Africa speak a language 
belonging to the Niger-Congo family. Other groups in this family include the 
Atlantic and the Kordofanian group of languages. 

Yoruba is demographically and culturally the most important language 
of the Gulf of Guinea. Spoken by more than 25 million people, it was one of the 
earliest west African languages to have a written grammar and dictionary. The 
first known written document in Yoruba appeared in 1819. It was a vocabulary 
primer containing the numerals 1-10 and was published by the German 
linguist, Bowdich. A more substantial list of vocabulary appeared some nine 
years later in 1828 when Hannah Kilham published a collection of 
vocabularies from thirty African languages while sojourning in Sierra-Leone 
between 1827 and 1828. This was followed by the first recorded text and 
dictionary in 1843. The former was a Yoruba translation of Luke 1:35, a sermon 
text of the Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a priest-linguist working under the 
aegis of the Church Missionary Society (CMS). The first dictionary was also the 
work of Bishop Crowther. He also produced the first grammar and vocabulary 
in 1853 and the first translation of the Bible in 1856, the same year in which 
the first Yoruba periodical also appeared. This was followed in 1875 by the first 
standardized orthography (which remains essentially unmodified today), 
issued by the CMS, under the supervision of Samuel Crowther. 

The Reverend and later Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who became 
instrumental in the codification of the Yoruba language and was by far the 



10 



most fervent contributor to early Yoruba studies, was himself a Yoruba native. 
Enslaved and later liberated by the British Navy in 1821, Ajayi resettled in 
Sierra-Leone, as did other West- Africans after the British empire abolished the 
trade in humans. In Sierra-Leone, where many of the returning ex-enslaved 
were of Yoruba origin, Samuel Crowther became a missionary for the CMS of 
England. He was baptized in 1825 by John C. Raban, a German missionary 
working for the CMS who also christened the young Ajayi as Samuel Crowther. 
Raban exerted a profound and lasting influence on the young Crowther. His 
influence allowed Crowther to play a key role in moving the center of the 
study of the Yoruba language from Sierra-Leone to Yorubaland itself in a CMS- 
led missionary effort to christianize the Yoruba-speaking areas of western 
Africa. The effort to transform Yoruba from a mainly spoken language to a 
written one was not the effort of one person alone. It was an international 
effort mostly led by European missionaries whose main purpose was to 
transmit the Judeo-Christian religion and culture. Apart from Samuel 
Crowther and his mentor, Raban, several other European missionary-linguists 
as well as other Yoruba-speaking people were involved. The significance and 
implications of this European missionary-linguist-led effort and its effect on 
Yoruba grammatical analysis are discussed further in the next chapter. This 
was the seed of the English-based analysis that later returned to haunt the 
grammatical analysis of the Yoruba language. 

As one of the three largest groups of languages (classified as "national 
languages" in the constitution) in Nigeria, Yoruba is spoken by more than 
20% of the population of Nigeria (the largest single black nation on earth), a 
country with a population of about 120 million people. The two other national 
languages are Hausa and Igbo, both of which are also regional languages in 
the north and southeastern parts of the country. In fact, Hausa is the most 



11 



widely spoken language within the West-African sub-region, followed by 
Yoruba (although the latter also is used as language of religious rites and 
communication outside the African continent). "Standard" Yoruba itself is an 
amalgamation of several dialects, essentially the dialects of Oyo, Ibadan, 
Abeokuta and Lagos, major activity centers of early CMS missionary activities, 
making Yoruba itself a koine (Fagborun 1994), a process involving dialect 
mixing, levelling, and simplification (Trudgill 1986: 127, Siegel 1987: 186-7). 

Apart from the standardized koine, there are twenty other dialects of 
Yoruba: Cyo, Ijesha, Ife, Ijebu, Ond6,Cw6, Owu, Egbadd, Chdri, Igbomina, Sabe, 
Gbede, Egba, Akoko, Anag6, Bini, Yagba, Ekiti, Ikale and Aw6ri. These dialects 
are largely mutually intelligible, albeit with some variations in vocabulary 
and phonology and were largely spoken by different groups of people who, 
though tracing their descent to their common progenitor (Oduduwa), did not 
consider themselves as one people. In fact, these groups belonged to different 
kingdoms and empires that fought each other in the past for various purposes, 
including territorial expansion. The term Yoruba itself was used to refer solely 
to the people of the old savannah empire of Cyo by their northern neighbors, 
the Hausa, who referred to them as the "Yariba" and later on as "Yorubawa." 
Thus, the term "Yoruba," first used by a neighboring people to refer to the 
Yoruba, is itself most likely not of "Yoruba" origin. Although there are several 
dialects of Yoruba, it is important to mention that my discussions and examples 
in this analysis shall be based on the so-called "standard" Yoruba. This is the 
only variety referred to as "Yoruba" and the only variety taught in schools in 
Yorubaland and abroad. It is the language of the media and of official 
government business. It also is my native language. 

I have provided a brief historical background to the Yoruba language. I 
now return to its identifying features, especially as these features relate to its 



12 



phonology, morphology and syntax. In doing so, I follow established 
orthographic conventions which involves adding diacritics and two tone 
marks with subscript dot to the Roman alphabet system. 

1.2.1 Phonology 

As shown in Table 1.1, standardized Yoruba segmental phonemes are as 
follows. There are seven oral vowels and five nasalized vowels. The oral vowels 
are i, e, e , a, o, o, and u; with e and o orthographically notated as e and o 
respectively. The nasalized vowels are in, en, an, on, and un. Orthographically 
they are represented as vowel + n when immediately after an oral consonant 
(e.g. sun, p/n) and as a simple vowel when they are immediately after a nasal 
consonant (e.g. mp, na). Thus, with the exception of /e/ and /of all the vowels 
have nasalized counterparts. Long vowels are represented by a doubling of the 
vowel, as in t££r£ 'slender,' deede 'exactly,' etc. It is important to note that 
nasalization is phonemic in the language; thus there is a difference in 
meaning between 'ri' 'to sink' and 'rin' 'to walk'; between 'si' (DIRECTIONAL) 
and 'sin' 'to sneeze'. 

There are certain restrictions on the occurrence and co-occurrence of 
vowels. Vowel initial nouns, for example, cannot begin with [u] or a nasalized 
vowel. There are two basic patterns of vowel harmony in the language. First, 
the mid vowels e and o cannot cooccur with the mid vowels e and o as the 
following examples indicate: $s$ 'week', es£ 'foot', oJcp 'husband', ete 'lip', epo 
'oil', etc. The following combinations are not allowed: *pCo, *oCe, *oCo, eCe, etc. 
Similarly, front and back vowels may also not cooccur in monomorphemic 
CVCV sequences: aburo 'younger sibling', aher£ 'hut', dkiki 'fame', etc. 

Although tones are not represented in Table 1.1 they are also phonemic 
in Yoruba and bear a considerable functional load. The lexical importance of 



13 



tones is due to the role they play in differentiating between sets of lexical 
items. They are also of grammatical importance because of the role they 
sometimes play in grammatical distinction. These two features are discussed 
more fully in later sections. Yoruba has an open-ended syllable structure. That 
is, all syllables end in a vowel (which could be either an oral or a nasal vowel). 
The language does not permit consonant clusters (note that orthographic gb, 
as in gba in the example below, is not considered a consonant cluster but a unit 
phoneme doubly articulated). Phonologically, a syllable consists of a vowel 
nucleus with an optional consonant onset: o 'second person singular subject 
pronoun', He 'house' (V-syllables); ga 'to be tall', gba 'to take' (CV-syllables); 
tan 'to be finished', tan 'to spread, scatter' (CV-syllable with a nasalized vowel 
nucleus). A syllabic nasal constitutes a syllable in its own right, it cannot have 
an onset. A syllabic nasal can occur only medially (as in Ogedengbe 'name of a 
person') and initially {tiko 'where is?, where about?'), but not finally, and 
must be homorganic with the following consonant. The nucleus of a syllable 
assimilates to a nasal onset in terms of nasality; thus a vowel after a nasal 
consonant automatically is nasalized. 

There are three contrastive level tones: high ( ' ), low ( * ) and mid 
(generally unmarked, but if it is necessary to mark it, then a macron O is 
placed over the syllabic nucleus, as with the other two tones). Although these 
contrastive tones are level, phonetic contours occur in some environments. 
For instance, a low tone immediately after a high tone is realized as a rising 
tone (as in 6wa 'she exists', w$n sun 'they slept'). Similarly, a high tone 
immediately after a low tone is realized as a rising tone: iwe 'book', ore 
'friend'; The functional importance of tones becomes obvious from the 
following example sets of lexical items, distinguished in meaning solely by the 
difference in tone marking: mu (to take), mu (to drink), mu (to be deep); ra (to 



14 



vanish), ra (to knead), ra (to buy/ be rotten); igba (time, period), igba (two 
hundred), igba (calabash), igba (climbing rope), igba (locust tree), etc. The 
only thing differentiating meaning in the words above is the tone. Note that a 
distributional restriction does not permit vowel-initial nouns to begin with a 
high tone. With the sole exception of this restriction, tonal co-occurrence is 
largely free in Yoruba nouns (rf. Comrie 1990 for further discussion). 

As for the consonants, four basic places of articulation are 
distinguished in the language: bilabial, alveolar, palatal and velar. In addition 
to these, there are two doubly articulated stops in Yoruba-the labial-velar 
stops-represented as p [kp] and gb [gb] respectively. The four voiceless 
fricatives are: f (labial), s (alveolar) and h (glottal). The palato-alveolar 
fricative [J] is written as a dotted /s/ (i.e. ?). There are five sonorants: m 
(bilabial nasal), 1 (alveolar lateral), r (alveolar tap), y (palatal glide), w (velar 
glide), plus a syllabic nasal whose representation varies depending on the 
environment. It is realized as a velar when followed immediately by a vowel, as 
in 'n d ra' [q 6 ra ] (I didn't buy/I won't buy). When it is followed by a 
consonant, the syllabic nasal is homorganic to the following segment, 
although in the written tradition this has been fossilized as a simple n, as in 
'M6 m bo' (generally written as [md n bo]) (I am coming/I was coming)* 'Md n 
lo' (I am going/I was going). There are five stops: b (voiced bilabial), d( voiced 
alveolar), t (voiceless alveolar), g (voiced velar) and k (voiceless velar), plus 
two doubly articulated labial-velars, as mentioned above and a palatal stop: [ds] 
simply written as /)/. The voiceless labial- velar also is represented 
orthographically as a simple /p/, since there is no voiceless bilabial stop 
counterpart in the language. 



15 



1.2.2 Morphology 

The obligatory categories in Yoruba are syntactic while the derivational 
categories are mainly morphemic. There are two main processes of word 
formation, viz prefixation and reduplication. Nouns can be derived from verbs 
in several ways. Prefixes deriving agentive nouns from verbs include a-, 6- 
and olu-. Of these three, the a- prefix is the most productive while 6- is the 
least productive. A- is generally prefixed to a verb phrase (VP) to derive a 
noun of the order 'one who does something', as in ape;'a 'fisherperson' 
(literally one who kills fish: a + pa + eja), akorin 'singer' (one who sings 
songs: a + ko + orin) or an object that performs an action, as in abe 'knife' 
(that which cuts: a +be), ata 'pepper' (that which stings: a + ta). 
The prefix 6- harmonizes with its base VP to produce two variants: o- and 6-. 
For instance o^is? 'worker' (one who works: 6 + se + ise), but pjn<?we\ 'a Ph.D. 
holder' (one who knows book: c» + mo + iwe). Examples of derivations with olu- 
incluse olugbala 'savior' (one who saves: olu + gbala), olupese 'one who 
provides: olu + pese), oludamQran 'counselor' (one who counsels: olu + 
damoran), etc. 

Prefixes that form abstract nouns from VPs include i- and a- as in imd 
'knowledge' (the art of knowing: i + mo), ireti 'hope' (the art of expecting: i + 
red); aio 'going' (the art of going: a + lo), ase 'banquet' (the art of cooking: a + 
se). These prefixes sometimes form nonabstract nouns: idi 'bundle' (the art of 
binding: i + di), itan 'story, history' (the art of spreading: i + tan). Other 
prefixes include ati- and ai- both of which are used to derive either infinitives 
or gerunds. While ati- is used to derive affirmative forms, ai- is used mainly in 
the derivation of negative forms: ati$i$(? 'to work, working' (the art of doing 
work: ati + se + ise), ati/o 'to go, going' (the art of going: ati + lo); aim's? 



16 



'joblessness' (the state of not having a job: ai + ni +ise), aisiin 'vigil' (the state 
of not sleeping: ai + sun), etc. 

Reduplication is another way in which new words are formed in 
Yoruba. Although there are just two basic types of reduplication—complete 
and partial reduplication, this process is also highly productive. Complete 
reduplication is used mainly to express either intensification: pupQ 'many, 
much' but pupopupo 'very many, much' or it can be used to change 
grammatical categories; dara 'be good' (verb) but daradara 'good' (adjective). 
Another form of complete reduplication is the one that derives an agentive 
nominal from a VP: jagunjagun 'warrior' (fight war fight war: ja + ogun), 
kolekole 'burglar' (steal/gather house: k6 + ile). Partial reduplication is used 
to derive a noun from a verb. Generally, the initial consonant of a verb is 
copied and then followed by a high-toned [i] as in lilo 'going' (lo 'go), $i$e 
'doing' (§e 'do'), etc. (cf. Comrie 1990). 

1.2.3 Syntax 

Syntactically speaking, Yoruba is a highly configurational language. 
The basic word order is subject + verb + object (SVO). Noun phrases (NP), verb 
phrases (VP) and prepositional phrases (PP) are head-initial (i.e. the head of a 
phrase comes at the beginning. Examples (1-2) below show the basic word 
order typology of Yoruba. 

(1) Olu rk keke. 
Olu buy bicycle 
'Olu bought a bicycle.' 

(2) Mo ni j we. 
I have book 
'I have a book.' 

Both objects of a verb with more than one object follow the verb, with the 
second object preceded by the semanticaUy empty preposition ni. 



17 



(3) Mo fun Taye m owo. 
I give Taye PREP, money 
'I gave Taye some money.' 



Also when a verb has a verbal complement, the complement follows the verb. 



(4) Mo rd pe o kuru. 

I think that you be+short 
'I think that you are short.' 

(5) Mo m.Q p€ Kike mdw6. 

I know that Kike know+book 
T know that Kike is brilliant.' 



Adverbials generally are post-verbal (6-7), although a small number precede 
the verb (8-9). 



(6) Bade sanra pupb, 
Bade fat/big plenty/a lot 
'Bade is very fat/big' 

(7) Gbeim dudu gan an. 
Gbemi is+dark very/really 
'Gbeml is very/really dark.' 

(8) Baba tete de\ 
Father quickly arrive 
'Father arrived quickly.' 

(9) Mo ses? io. 
I just go 

'I have just gone.' 



Aspect markers are pre-verbal. These markers are the object of the next 
chapter and will be discussed in further detail. 



(10) A ti jL 

We RELATIONAL wake up 

'We have awakened/We are awake.' 

(11) Olu n lo si ili-iwe. 
Olu INCOMPLETIVE go DIRECTIONAL school 
'Olu is/was going to school.' 



18 



Yes-no type questions are formed by placing either Se, or Nje at the beginning 
of the sentence or bi at the end: 



(12) $e o ni owo? 
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLEyou have money 

'Do you have money?' 

(13) Nj4 o ni owo? 
INTERROGATIVE PARTICLEyou have money 

'Do you have money?' 

(14) O ni owo bi? 

You have money INTERROGATIVE PARTICLE 
'Do you have money?' 



Since NPs are head-initial (as discussed earlier), adjectives, determiners, 
demonstratives and relative clauses appear post-nominally. 



(15) lie pupa. 
House red 

'Red house' 

(16) 116 nkk 
House that 
'That house' 

(17) Eye ti mo ri 
Bird that I see 
'The bird (that) I saw.' 



One cannot bring this section on the structure of Yoruba to a close 
without touching briefly on the subject of serial verbal constructions (SVC) in 
the language. As is the case in many languages of the Kwa group, in Yoruba it 
is possible for strings of VPs to appear one after the other without an 
intervening conjunction or subordinator. SVCs are so common in Yoruba that 
it is practically impossible to discuss the VP at any length without having to 
address the issue of SVCs. In fact, they are one of the hallmarks of the VP in 
Yoruba. 



19 



The SVCs exhibit very interesting properties, as can be observed in the 
examples below. 

(18) Mu un wa7 
Bring it come 
'Bring it (here)!' 

(19) Mo gb€ e Jo. 
I carry it go 
T took/carried it away.' 

(20) Titi ta igi fun Tolu. 
Titi sell wood give Tolu 
'Titi sold Tolu some wood.' 

In examples (18) and (19), the second verbs (wa, lo) indicate the 
direction in which the actions performed by the subjects took place. Both the 
first and second verbs point to the action of one and the same subject. In (20) 
the second verb (fun) refers or points to the object of the benefactor of the 
action referred to by the first verb. However, it is also possible to have an SVC 
construction of this type in (18) and (19) where the subject of the second verb 
becomes the object of the first verb. In that instance, it is the object of the 
verb (ti 'push') who suffers the consequence of the action and not the subject 
(as in the last two examples). Such is the case in example (21) below. 

(21) Pade ti mi lul$. 
Pade push me hit+ground 
'Pade pushed me down.' 

It is also possible to have two transitive verbs combined in the same SVC 
construction. In such cases the serial verb sequence will have two object NPs, 
as in (22) and (23) below. 



(22) Tafa pon omi kun amu. 
Tafa draw water fill pot 
'Tafa filled the pot with water.' 



20 



(23) Olii yan ibon pa erin. 
Olu shoot gun kill elephant 
'Olu killed the elephant with a gun.' 

In many instances, however, the object NP separating the two transitive verbs 
is also the object of both VPs. 

(24) Kanmi se i$u ra. 
Kanmi cook yam sell 
'Kanmi cooked yam to sell.' 

(25) Mo ra burqdi ;'e. 
I buy bread eat 
'I bought bread to eat.' 

In both of the above examples, the NPs (isu) and (buredi) are the objects of the 
verbs that both precede and follow them. There are many other types of serial 
verb constructions than those given above. However, since serial verbs are 
not the object of this dissertation, it will be impossible to give an exhaustive 
analysis of this very interesting topic in Yoruba syntax. Neither will it be 
necessary, especially since a lot of indepth analyses have already been carried 
out by others (cf. Bamgbose 1966, 1967, 1995, Awobuluyi 1967, Awoyale 1988). 

Although it is quite obvious from the brief summary of Yoruba 
grammar given above, it will be pertinent to point attention to the fact that 
articles, grammatical gender (cf. Oyewumi 1997 for a more detailed discussion 
of the imposition of gender on Yoruba through translation tradition based on 
English), number, and inflection are not relevant to Yoruba. This is not to say 
that Yoruba is "deficient" or "lacks" some things in its grammatical make-up. 
It only means that Yoruba emphasizes different things than English or any 
other language for that matter. This issue will be revisited in the next chapter. 



21 



1 .3 The Dynamics of Yoruba and English in Nigeria 

In this final section of my introductory chapter I will present a brief 
overview of the complex dynamics of Yoruba and English within the socio- 
cultural and political context of Nigeria. First, I will give a brief history of how 
the English language came into what has come to be known as the present day 
Nigeria and how this has affected English and Yoruba and how both languages 
are used in Nigeria today. 

English was officially introduced into Nigeria with the arrival of British 
merchants on the west coast of Africa during the 17th century. During most of 
this time English was confined to the coastal areas with which the British did 
legitimate trade and later on the obnoxious trade in humans. The type of 
English used then was a mixture of English words with West African syntax 
(mostly of the Kwa group of languages, to which Yoruba belongs). It was this 
variety of English that later on developed in what is today known as Nigerian 
Pidgin English (NPE). The need for communication between European 
merchants and their Nigerian counterparts gave birth to this form of 
communication, a compromise speech of sorts, between the English-speaking 
British merchants and their Nigerian trading partners who spoke indigenous 
languages. Thus NPE was already widely spoken along the coast before the 
coming of the colonial administration. However, what is today known as 
"standard" Nigerian English (NE) did not emerge until the arrival of the 
Christian missionaries who began to establish schools for purposes of religious 
instruction. The preceding colonial administration did not see the need to 
educate their African subjects in their own language. They felt that the 
compromise that created NPE was good enough for their purposes. It was only 
decades later that the colonial administration itself began to take some interest 
in educating their Nigerian subjects, mostly for their own self-serving 



22 



reasons and partly because they wanted to wrest the power of educating the 
people from the hands of the missionaries with whom they were not always on 
good terms. The missionaries, whose mission was mainly religious and not 
commercial, established schools and began to formally teach the Africans the 
English language (Adekunle 1985: 18-19). This is what Adekunle calls the first 
phase in the evolution of NE. As has been mentioned earlier in this chapter, it 
was also the missionaries who began to put the indigenous languages into 
writing. Names like Raban, Gollmer and Venn come to mind here~all CMS 
missionary-linguists who were seriously involved in codifying the Yoruba 
language and who had a great impact on the Yoruba-born missionary-linguist, 
Bishop Crowther. 

The second phase of the establishment of English in Nigeria covers the 
period from the amalgamation of Nigeria until the time of independence in 
1960. It was during this period that the colonial administration got involved in 
education and began to subsidize the efforts of the missionaries. The colonial 
government had discovered that it needed some educated Nigerians to help in 
the smooth running of the State, at least at the administrative level. At this 
point in time, a number of Nigerians had already had the opportunity to travel 
and to study in the United Kingdom under the auspices of the Mission Boards. 
These returned to serve as middle level administrators. Meanwhile, the 
number of native Britons had also increased in the country. It was during this 
period that the standardized variety of NE began to stabilize, especially with 
the establishment of more schools, as teachers began to teach a standardized 
form of English in preference to the Pidgin English that had already spread 
beyond the coastal areas into the far interiors of the country. This could be 
called the middle period of the evolution of SNE. 



23 

The third phase in this evolution extends from the period of self- 
determination (i.e. independence) until the present. During this phase, most of 
the stabilizing effort was carried out by Nigerians trained in the UK. Many 
Nigerians had already been trained as teachers by this time, and it was mostly 
these British-trained women and men who began to do most of the teaching in 
the classrooms of Nigeria. It is interesting to note here that these indigenous 
teachers were adults who already spoke several Nigerian languages before 
they began to learn English. They could therefore not have had native-like 
accents and could probably not be considered as perfect bililnguals. The 
English they spoke and taught in the schools was definitely not the English 
spoken by the monolingual British person. Most of it would have been colored 
by the native languages that they were already proficient in before they set 
their foot in the classrooms of England. If SNE developed from these 
circumstances, it is therefore obvious that SNE cannot by any standards be the 
same as the so-called "Queen's English" (See Ajani 1995, 1996) spoken by the 
English people. This is not to imply that it was or is inferior, but rather that it 
is different because it has been shaped by its environment. It must have 
acquired a lot of indigenous flavor. It must be a localized form of English, 
tailored to the needs of the Nigerian populace as well as influenced by the 
languages with which it coexisted, or better said, was in competition with. And 
I don't use the word "competition" lightly here, because until the post- 
independence period when nationalistic and forward-looking Nigerian leaders 
decided to systematically implement a new language policy for the nation, it 
was a major crime in the schools for any Nigerian child to speak her or his 
mother tongue. There was therefore a calculated attempt by the colonialists to 
stamp out the indigenous languages in favor of the English tongue. I can still 
remember a lot of us being severely flogged during our elementary and high 



24 



school education for daring to speak our mother tongue while in school. The 
rule was simple: English only; or face the dire consequences. It is interesting 
to note that most of us already spoke two or more languages before setting foot 
in the classrooms. 

Having learnt English under these circumstances, it should not be 
surprising that early writers like Amos Tutuola chose to write in English. 
Neither is it surprising that Tutuola's English and the English of other modern 
Nigerian writers, including the Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka and 
internationally acclaimed novelists like Chinua Achebe, still write in an 
English that is influenced by it's writers' multilingual and multicultural 
background and experiences. 

In Nigeria today, English is still very important and even ejoys much 
higher status than any of our indigenous languages, including the major 
lingua francas that had been used as languages of wider communication long 
before the arrival of the British on those soils. Today, English is still the 
language of social mobility, although its status has been reduced to. that of an 
official language, as opposed to the three national languages -- Yoruba, Hausa 
and Igbo. All four languages now coexist in a diglossic state in the nation, with 
SNE being used mostly by the educated elite, NPE by the not-so-educated 
Nigerians who did not have the opportunity to go to college, although 
practically all the educated elite also are either conversant with or are fluent 
in NPE as well. They code-switch and code-mix between SNE, NPE and the 
various local languages that they know. Thus code-switching and code-mixing 
are a fundamental part of the linguistic environment of Nigeria, as it is in 
most African languages today. 

In the Yorubaland section of Nigeria, children begin their education in 
Yoruba and continue to receive all their academic instructions in it for at least 



25 



the first three years of elementary education, with English as a subject within 
the curriculum. After the first three years of elementary education English 
switches place with Yoruba and becomes the language of instruction while 
Yoruba becomes a subject on the curriculum. This notwithstanding, Yoruba 
continues as an academic discipline and is studied up to the doctoral and post- 
doctoral levels in any of the several universities located within the Yoruba 
region of Nigeria. Today, Yoruba studies is a serious and respectable discipline 
with many people studying to the Ph.D. level and writing their dissertations 
entirely in Yoruba. Several news dailies are written in Yoruba in the Yoruba 
states and there are radio and television programs written and presented 
entirely in Yoruba to the more than 20 million potential viewing audience in 
the Yoruba-speaking states of Nigeria as well those in neighboring Benin 
Republic and Togo. Numerous books and articles, theses and dissertations - on 
both literary and scientific topics -- have been and still continue to be written 
in the language. 

The Yoruba are great lovers of education and would leave no stone 
unturned to better educate themselves and their children because, as the 
Yoruba saying goes, "Ek6 nh sonii deni giga" (It is education that makes one a 
person of importance." Thus, within the Nigerian socio-cultural and political 
environment, Yoruba and English continue to march on in peaceful 
coexistence into the future, at least for now. Just as English has been 
influenced by Yoruba because of the historical circumstances that brought 
both languages together, so has Yoruba been influenced by English. In fact, 
today there are many English loan words in the Yoruba language, as both 
languages and cultures continue to influence each other as they move on into 
the future. English is now taught as a discipline up to the doctoral level in 
Nigerian universities, and all Yoruba children receiving a formal education 



26 



must of necessity learn English. English has permeated all facets of life in this 
former British colony. It is interesting to add too that the Yoruba language is 
not only taught in Nigeria, but also in major British and American universities 
and in other major universities of Europe. In fact, I have had the privilege of 
teaching Yoruba language, culture and civilization to students from all over 
Europe at the National Institute of Oriental and African Languages (INALCO) in 
Paris, France. Yoruba is also one of the major African languages taught and 
researched at the prestigious London School of Oriental and African Studies 
(SOAS) in England. I am also aware that one of our Yoruba professors from 
Nigeria (Dr. Olabode) now teaches Yoruba in one of the major universities in 
Japan. 

Today, Yoruba remains one of the most studied and researched African 
languages. The Yoruba diaspora, which is mostly a direct result of the forced 
transportation and relocation of able-bodied Yoruba women and men from 
their homeland to the New World, continues to produce and to generate studies 
on the influence and impact of Yoruba language, culture, religion and 
civilization on the rest of the world. In places like Cuba, Brazil, Trinidad and 
Tobago, Haiti and the United States, Yoruba religion and the language of that 
religion continues to gain loyal adherents and speakers. Similarly, Yoruba art 
is being exhibited in major cities of the world as the beautiful handiwork of 
gifted and talented Yoruba people continue to gain in prestige and importance, 
both among the educated elite as well as among religious adherents. Due to the 
recent economic hardship in Nigeria, there is now a new generation of 
Yoruba descendants scattered all over the world, especially in the more 
economically prosperous lands of the West, the Middle-East and Asia. This 
generation of new-comers too continues to spread the influence of Yoruba 
language and culture into every nook and cranny of the globe, thus 



27 



continuing to enrich the culture of our global village in which we all live 
today. 

This brief story of the dynamic relationship between English and 
Yoruba within the Nigerian context can serve, I think, as a reminder of the 
verity of the basic principle of contact linguistics, that language contact is not 
unidirectional but rather a two dimensional highway. As two languages and 
peoples come into contact, both languages must of necessity exert some degree 
of influence on each other, given the right circumstances. Unfortunately, 
however, sometimes the result is not always the good ending of peaceful co- 
existence. This is the sad story of many indigenous languages that have 
suffered death due to the contact they had with some languge of power at one 
point in time or another. Sometimes the languages of the less powerful have 
not only died, the speakers of such languages have perished along with their 
languages. Language death is not just something of the past, it is still a sad 
reality of our time and age. Maybe the kind of study in which I am engaged 
will continue to serve as a reminder that languages can continue to co-exist, 
just as people can, and that such peaceful co-existence can benefit not only 
the people who speak those languges, but also enrich world civilization, 
culture and language in general. People like Tutuola have not only enriched 
world culture by sharing the lores of their culture with the rest of the world 
through the instrumentality of the English languge. They also, as part of the 
process of sharing, enrich language worldwide and the English language in 
particular. 

In the next chapter I focus on the Yoruba language and especially the 
structure of the verb phrase and more specifically the dynamics of 
temporality in the language. I begin my discussion with a brief literature 
review on time relations in Yoruba and follow it with a personal reanalysis of 



28 



the subject. This prepares the way for a detailed analysis of Amos Tutuola's 
English in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4, 1 summarize some of the salient issues 
involved in this study of aspect in Yoruba and Nigerian English and suggest 
certain implications of this study for both English and Yoruba, both as they 
relate to theories of grammar and literary criticism and to teaching English 
(ESL) and Yoruba (YSL) as second languages. 



CHAPTER 2 
ASPECT IN YORUBA 

The treatment of aspectual and temporal relations in the Yoruba 
language (YL) has been fraught with confusion right from the onset of formal 
analysis of the language. This confusion has a long history. It began with the 
father of Yoruba linguistics-Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, whose 
foundational work, A Grammar of the Yoruba Language (1852), laid the 
groundwork for all future grammars of the language. Bishop Crowther's work 
was modeled meticulously after the analysis of the English language (EL), the 
language in which he had received all of his linguistic training. He therefore 
was very careful not to deviate from the English model. Unfortunately, almost 
a century and a half afterwards, his methodology and basis of analysis by and 
large still command the adherence of YL linguists. In fact, so strong is the 
influence of Crowther that even Ayo Bamgbose (considered the "father" of 
modern Yoruba linguistics) could not escape some of his methods and 
conclusions (cf. the latter's A Grammar of Yoruba (1966) and A Short Grammar 
of Yoruba (1967)). 

As an example, most of what Bamgbose analyzed as tense markers are 
indeed aspect markers, while some of them are actually either modals or 
elements belonging to other categories in the grammar. For the purposes of 
this dissertation I will be focussing on elements that belong to aspect but 
which have been anylyzed as tenses. Bamgbose, for instance, classified the 
INTENTIONAL aspect marker 'yio' and the ANTICIPATIVE 'maa' as "Future 
Tenses" and the INCOMPLETLVE 'n' as "Continuous Tense". He categorized all of 



29 



30 



the above aspects under "Simple Tenses". Interestingly enough, he also 
classified the INCOMPLFTTVE aspect marker 'n' (which he had earlier on 
analyzed as "Continuous Tense") as a "Habitual Tense," thus having two 
different classifications for the same marker. It is to be noted, however, that in 
languages that mark tense (such as EL) one tense marker cannot be used to 
refer to two different time frames. Thus "She will come" cannot be both future 
and past tense at the same time. Moreover, most of what I classify under the 
rubric of Complex Aspects, Bamgbose classifies as "Perfective Tenses." 
Examples include the BACKGROUNDER aspect 'yio ti', which he analyzed as 
"Perfective Future Tense"; the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE aspect 'ti n', as 
"Perfective Continuous Tense"; the ANTECEDENT-COMPLETION 'ti maa n' as 
"Perfective Habitual Tense"; and the RELATIONAL aspect (one of the simple 
aspects) as "Perfective Unmarked Tense". Although this aspect is overtly 
marked, Bamgbose, for some reasons, still calls it an unmarked "tense" 
(Bamgbose 1967: 25-31). 

One other interesting aspect of Bamgbose's analysis is the classification 
of negation as tense, which led him to classify his "simple tense" into two 
broad categories of "Positive Tenses" and "Negative Tenses", as if there were 
such a thing as negative time. I believe negation to be a completely separate 
category in the grammar and it should be treated as such, rather than woven 
into the category of "tenses" or even aspect for that matter. Bamgbose's 
analysis is therefore quite unsatisfactory and inadequate in the light of 
current knowledge. But he is not alone in this. Other linguists before and after 
him have done similar things that are worthy of mention at this point. 

Before Bamgbose, Samuel Ajayi Crowther (1852), the pioneer of Yoruba 
language studies, had analyzed YL verbs into three main time frames: present, 
past indefinite, and future. He also identified sex-based gender in YL for 



31 



which, as a category, I do not find evidence in the language. Other categories 
that he proposed occupy a different position in the grammar. Crowther, for 
instance, tried hard to make tense "happen" in YL by postposing time adverbs 
such as 'lanaa' (yesterday), 'lonif (today), and '161a' (tomorrow) to verbs and 
using them to explain tense in YL, claiming that tense is grammatical in the 
language. The only problem with this kind of analysis is that in YL the form of 
the verb does not change (as it does in EL, the language he chose for his 
model). In EL one does not need a time adverbial to indicate tense; rather it is 
the inflection or change in the verb that brings this about, or in the case of 
the future tense, the use of a modal. 

A number of contemporary Yoruba linguists have recognized this 
problem and have attempted to handle it in different ways (cf. Awoyale 1974, 
Bolorunduro 1980, Amoran 1986) but the problem still remains. 

Awoyale, for instance, devoted scarcely two pages to this all-important 
issue of tense and aspect in his dissertation on the syntax and semantics of YL 
nominalizations. In his attempt, he identified two tense markers in YL--'N' and 
'ti'--but went right ahead to describe them in terms of aspect. He called the 
former a progressive marker and the latter a perfective marker, both of 
which are terms used in describing aspectual relations. Also, Awoyale' s 
analysis, like many others before it, is laden with deficit hypothesis (See 
Hardman 1988 for a more detailed discussion on "deficit hypothesis"). Again 
and again he repeats the phrase "Yoruba does not have...". One of such 
instances is his comment on the present tense: 

Yoruba does not have an overt marker for the present tense. That is, 
there is no wav to sav in Yoruba 

42) He struggles with death 



32 



without using the progressive marker, N" (1974: 37-38).(my 
underlining). 

What is clearly observable in the above analysis is that Awoyale is using 
the English language as a model for Yoruba. He therefore expects YL to have 
everything that EL has in its grammar. When he does not find such similarity, 
he declares YL as deficient, compared to EL. What Awoyale might have said, if 
he had chosen to take a more descriptive approach, is that YL uses aspect to 
perform the same function for which EL uses tense. Thus, where EL uses the 
present simple tense, YL uses the "progressive aspect" (incompletive aspect in 
my analysis-cf. Section 2.3.2.2.). Or he could simply say that tense is not of 
primary importance in YL but aspect is. Without a deficit hypothesis as his 
starting point, Awoyale would not have made the strong, but wrong, unilateral 
statement quoted above " There is no wav to sa v in Yoruba" is a statement that 
makes YL to appear to be stuck and in need of rescue by EL What Awoyale 
failed to take into account is the natural independence of individual 
languages. Every language is a system in itself and individual speakers can, 
and do, find ways to say what they want to say within that system. It should not 
be expected that any two systems will correspond in the simplicity of 
expression for any given idea. It is also true, of course, that no translation is 
ever fully accurate. The differences in obligatory categories-what must be 
said-always require that some ideas be expressed by one language that are not 
required by the other. EL requires tense, YL requires aspect, so the two never 
quite meet. Furthermore, Awoyale went on to say that YL does not have 
(emphasis again mine) a special marker or inflection for the past tense 
(1974:38). It would seem that he expects YL to use inflections and to have 
something similar or equal to the EL past tense. 



33 



Awoyale's work is just one example of problems that have resulted from 
attempts of YL linguists educated in EL to impose rules related to tense upon a 
language to which they do not apply. 

Another attempt worth mentioning at this juncture is that of Amoran 

(1986), an M.A. thesis on "Auxiliaries and Time Reference in Yoruba." Amoran, 

who devotes a chapter to Time Reference and Aspect in Yoruba,' makes the 

following interesting observations: 

The indication of specific or absolute time does not appear to have a 
pronounced place in the Yoruba verbal system. What is more important 
is the spread of the action or state through time and its aspect in terms 
of duration, progression, repetition, and completion rather than a 
tripartite division into present, past and future...The trend has been to 
treat tense as the dominant feature in Yoruba...I treat aspect as the 
dominant feature in the Yoruba verbal system. Further, I consider 
Yoruba a tenseless language... (pp. 32-33). 

The above statement is both insightful and bold, in the light of previous 
scholarship on this very important subject in YL grammar. Amoran rightly 
makes allusions to earlier scholarship on this issue, such as those of Bamgbose 
(1967), Awobuluyi (1967) and Ogunbowale (1970). He rightly points to the 
inadequacy of Bamgbose's analysis, judging from the fact that he treated tense 
as the dominant feature in YL. Also, his two tense systems-simple and 
perfective-was, as Amoran observed, an indication on Bamgbose's confused 
interpretation of aspect and tense. Amoran also noted that although Awobuluyi 
went a step further than Bamgbose, his attempt was quite simplistic, in that he 
identified mainly two aspectual components in YL, viz priority and duration as 
well as a dual tense opposition, subdivided into definite and indefinite, where 
definite tense corresponds to present and past tense forms and the indefinite 
corresponds to future tense. Thus, according to Awobuluyi's analysis, 
anything future is an aspect while anything present or past is a tense ~ 
apparently a very simplistic view of a very complex issue. Similarly, 
Ogunbowale's analysis, observes Amoran, is very inadequate in that it followed 



34 



the tradition of Bamgbose and others before him, as it treated YL from a tense 
perspective, subdividing it into a dichotomy of future and non-future tenses 
(p. 34). 

Having briefly teased out some of the major inadequacies of some of the 
earlier analyses before him, Amoran proceeds to present his own analysis. He 
identifies what others had called future tense as aspect markers and the non- 
future as tense. He then divides the latter into stative and non-stative verbs, a 
position that is not too far afield from that of Awobuluyi's. According to the 
former's analysis, stative verbs are inherently timeless while non-stative 
ones, by their nature have a past interpretation. His examples of non-stative 
verbs with a past interpretation includes the following 

"[25] O lo 

He went. 

[26] O ra a 

He bought it." (p.35) 

For stative verbs, he has these examples, 

"[28] O fe owo 
He wants money. 

[29] Mo gba 

I agree or agreed." (p.35) 

One inconsistency I find with this analysis is that although Amoran 
says that stative verbs are timeless, he still goes on to translate example [29] as 
present or past. Definitely "I agreed" is not timeless but rather a past event. I 
believe it is much safer to call the unmarked aspect the completive aspect (my 
interpretation) because calling it a past tense generates some other problems 
For example, I wonder how Amoran would translate "Mo ri i" (I see 
her/him/it). If we follow Amoran's analysis, it should be translated as a past 



35 



tense: "I saw her/him/it", since the verb see is a non-stative verb. However, 
that same sentence could also be translated as "I can see it/I see it". It is due to 
these types of confusion that I prefer to refer to the unmarked as an aspect- 
completive aspect— rather than a tense. Seeing it as an aspect will take care of 
the confusion that calling it a tense would normally generate, especially since 
aspect does not address itself to issues of time. 

Another inconsistency in Amoran's analysis is that although he says 
that non-stative verbs have a past interpretation, he later on analyzes them as 
simple aspects, giving some of them a present and others a past interpretation, 
as can be seen in examples [33] and [34] respectively 

"[33] Ade je onje naa 
Ade eat food the 
Ade eat (sic) the food. 

[34] O lo si oja naa 
He go to marker the 
He went to the market." (p.39) 

Thus, although both verbs are non-stative, Amoran translates the first 
as a present and the second as a past. Amoran's classification is therefore 
ambivalent. He wavers between calling the unmarked a tense or an aspect. 
Also, one expects that if Amoran had a simple aspect he would also have a 
complex aspect, but this is not the case. Apart from what he termed as the 
simple aspect he has five other forms of aspect, viz the anticipative (maa, y66, 
6, a), the perfective (ti), the continuative (n), the habitual (maa n) and the 
inceptive (a maa-a variant of 'yio maa'). 

A close look at this classification shows that Amoran is actually on track 
in some of his denominations, such as the anticipative, the habitual and the 
inceptive. The only problem is that he sometimes lumps different aspects 
together into one single aspect, such as the case with his "anticipative", which 



36 



also includes the intentional (yio). The other two aspect markers, (a) and (6) 
are actually variants of 'maa' and 'yio', respectively. It is also quite 
interesting that in his classification he fails to provide examples with the 
other three aspect markers that make up his 'anticipative'. His two examples 
are only with 'maa'. His definition of the perfective too is very inadequate and 
does not really fully explain the function of 'ti'. He simply says that it 
"expresses an action that is completed". This definition sounds very much like 
the completive to me. What Amoran calls the "continuative" I will classify as 
"incompletive", what he calls "perfective", I will call "relational". What he 
calls "simple", I will call "completive". On the whole, Amoran's efforts are in 
the right direction, apart from some of the inadequacies mentioned above and 
the fact that he does not account for all of the aspect markers in the language. 
For instance, he leaves out several of the complex aspect markers such as 'yio 
ti', yio ti maa' and 'ti maa n'. We also observe the same kind of trend that one 
finds in previous analyses in the area of gender and pronouns. Amoran 
consistently translates the genderless third person singular subject pronoun 
as "he." We find this in his examples [25], [26], [28] and [34] quoted above as 
well as in all of his other examples in his analysis. In spite of all of these, I 
believe Amoran still deserves commendation for his bold stance and for the 
many declarations in his thesis that YL is fundamentally an aspect driven 
language and should be treated as such, although he himself does not 
completely follow his own advice. 

One last example to be considered here is that of Bolorunduro (1980). 
Bolorunduro's work has so much merit in it that I will need to pause a little bit 
at this point and provide some of his insights on the previous analyses of tense 
and aspect in YL. Apart from a few inadequacies found in his own personal 
analysis (which I shall address later on) I believe Bolorunduro's work is an 



37 



important landmark in the analysis of temporality in YL. Like Amoran, 

Bolorunduro found it necessary to begin with earlier analyses of temporality 

in YL. In doing so, he appears to be very much on the right track. Bolorunduro 

examines the works of five YL linguists, Bamgbose (1967), Delano (1965), 

Awobuluyi (1978), Ayelaagbe (Undated M.A. thesis) and Ogunbowale (1970). In 

his critique of the first three (i.e. Bamgbose, Delano and Awobuluyi), he 

observes that they failed to make any clear distinction between tense and 

aspect in YL, then goes on to make a similar comment on Bamgbose's analysis, 

pointing out that he jumbled tense with negation and subdivided tense into 

"simple" and "perfective" tenses. Bolorunduro then asks a pertinent question: 

if there is a simple tense, should there not be a complex tense also? He then, 

continuing his critique, observes that instead of a complex tense, Bamgbose 

posits a "perfective tense", and that he identified aspect markers such as "yio, 

n, maa n and maa" as tense markers. Bolorunduro then asks another important 

question, this one having to do with the positive-negative opposition, 

Bamgbose further subdivides the so-called simple tense into Positive 
and Negative tense. Here one is tempted to ask what difference exists 
between positive and negative tenses. If the primary semantic function 
of tense is to indicate the relation between the time at which the 
sentence is uttered and the time of the action that is expressed in the 
main verb, one could then ask if there is a positive time and a negative 
time? To my mind this cannot be true. Tense, in those languages where 
it exists, have [sic] no negative and positive concepts, (p. 8). 

On Ayelaagbe's analysis, Bolorunduro observes that the latter divides YL 

verbs into two categories-those that can be marked for all tenses and those 

that can only be marked for future tense. He rightly remarks that such a 

division does not occur in YL. Again, what I see Ayelaagbe doing here is 

similar to what I have remarked earlier on about a deficit hypothesis 

syndrome that has plagued YL grammatical analyses. Apparently, Ayelaagbe 

expects YL verbs to behave exactly the same way as EL verbs. 



38 



In Bolorunduro's analysis of Delano's work, too, we see some of the same 
problems. Delano analyzed YL verbs as having present, past and future tenses. 
He also maintained that there exists in YL a difference between the form of the 
verb (my emphasis) which expresses the present or past times and went ahead 
to give such spurious examples as provided below, 

Ojo 1q = Ojo goes or Ojo went (present or past tense) 
(Ojo go) 

and 

Qfc> 1q lanaa = Ojo went yesterday (past tense) 

(Ojo go yesterday) 

Bolorunduro rightly observes that a close look at the above examples 
shows clearly that there is no change in the form of the verb "lo" (to go) in 
both instances~and "lanaa" (yesterday) is obviously not a verb! What makes 
for the difference in time in the second sentence is not a change in the form 
of the verb, but rather the addition of the time adverb "lanaa". The idea of a 
past time is therefore not marked on the verb, which obviously remains the 
same in the two examples given. The only reference to time here is the adverb 
of time "lanaa". This kind of faulty analysis is reminiscent of the work of 
Samuel Crowther before him, who also followed a similar line of analysis. 

Apart from the above types of erroneous analysis, Delano's work is also 
filled with terminological confusion. For example, here is one of the analyses I 
find in his work. In the examples below, he identifies the aspect markers "n, 
ti, and yio (yoo, in his analysis)" as tense markers, 



Olo =He goes 

Oh lo =He is going 

Oti lo =He has gone 

Y66 lo =He will go (Bolorunduro: 12) 



39 



It is once again apparent that, in addition to the erroneous classification 
of aspect markers as tense markers, the translation tradition that we find 
illustrated above, a translation that consistently misrepresents the third 
person subject pronoun as masculine leads to further difficulties. Gender is, in 
fact, not an issue here, especially since the third person singular marker "6" 
is gender neutral and can be translated as "she", "he" or even "it". It is this 
type of analysis that Hardman refers to as Derivational Thinking (cf. Hardman 
1978, 1993a, 1993b, 1994), a type of tiiinking that is very characteristic of 
Western thought, especially English, based on linearity and hierarchy and 
which assumes this mode of thinking to be universal. 

Finally, Bolorunduro turns attention to Awobuluyi's analysis, which, 

although he does not use the term "tense" or "aspect," presents similar 

problems. What Bamgbose calls "preverbs," Awobuluyi calls "pre-verbal 

adverbs," and thus we are still faced with the same problems. Although 

terminology is different, both are dealing with aspect markers, for, as 

Awobuluyi later on goes on to say, 

In positive sentences, future action is signified by the presence of any 
one of ydd, 6, d, a maa and n. (Bolorunduro 13). 

Thus Awobuluyi's analysis follows closely after that of Bamgbose, in 

that he too identifies "positive" and "negative" tenses, and although the 

former does not use the word "tense" in his analysis,~he uses "action" 

instead~he still makes reference to tense in the above statement. It is still the 

same attempt to say that tense is a grammatical category in YL and thus is 

significant. 

Bolorunduro concludes his insightful examination of some of the 

previous analyses by remarking that 

There is the semantic concept of time reference (absolute or relative) 
which may be grammaticalised in a language, i.e. a language may have 
a grammatical category that expresses time reference in which case we 



40 



say that the language has tense. Yoruba for example does not have 
grammaticalised time reference, though probably all languages 
lexicalise time reference in the sense that they have temporal 
adverbials and lexical items that locate situations in time such as lanaa, 
lonii, 161a, lodun to koja. (p. 15). 

Bolorunduro goes on to note that what his predecessors had analyzed as 
"pre-verbal adverbs" ("pre-verbs" in others) are in essence aspect markers 
and not tense markers as they would have us believe. Thus, Bolorunduro's 
more thorough and accurate analysis provides a more useful perspective for 
analysis of YL temporal relations. 

Although Bolorunduro identified a number of inadequacies in previous 
treatments of temporal relations and made a bold attempt to reanalyze YL 
aspectual relations with a good measure of success, his analysis is still largely 
unsatisfactory. He seems, first of all, to have either mingled other elements in 
the grammar (e.g. locative and adverbial expressions) with aspect or 
incorrectly analyzed some aspect markers. His analysis, with its 38 different 
aspect markers, appears to unnecessarily cumbersome. His further claim that 
there are between forty and fifty YL aspect markers (pp. 19-21) suggests a 
need for fine tuning. It appears to me that in his zeal to propose an aspect 
oriented grammatical analysis of YL, Bolorunduro also brought in other 
elements that do not belong in the category of aspect. (His Group II aspect 
category, for example, consists of mostly modals and other adverbials.) All this 
notwithstanding, one must still give due credit to Bolorunduro for observing 
correctly that tense has no systematic formal expression in Yoruba and that 
Yoruba has an aspectual system rather than a tense system (p. 3). I believe this 
observation of Bolorunduro's is an important landmark in the analysis of YL 
grammar. So far, he is the only one I know of who has made a deliberate effort 
to depart from the previous line followed by earlier grammarians and 



41 



linguists and attempted to analyze YL as primarily an aspectual rather than a 
tense language. 

Having presented some of the merits of Bolorunduro's analysis, I will 
now attempt to show why his efforts, though commendable, are still far from 
being adequate and satisfactory. Although he correctly identifies YL as 
fundamentally an aspect driven language, and successfully defines and 
differentiates between tense and aspect (cf. his definitions on pp.1-2, 6-7), he 
appears to have lumped other elements into the category that belong 
elsewhere in the grammar. Some of these elements include modals such as le 
(can, could), gbpdp(must); adverbials such as fete (quickly), (just), ;'a;'a 
(afterall) tun (again), saaba (usually), jumo (together); negators such as kd, ki 
/,; connectives such as ba (with), si (and, also), etc. Apparently the only 
elements in Bolorunduro's analysis that qualify as aspect markers are those in 
his Group I, viz yod/oo/a, maa, nu, i, ti, ri, a, i, although we still find a negator 
(i, a shortened form of lei) and nu, a negative form of the verbal particle m 
appearing in this category. 

Bolorunduro's difficulties begins with his division of aspect markers 
into two categories. At this point he classifies those in the first group as 
"aspectual markers without any independent meaning" and those in category 
II as "aspectual markers that have independent meaning" (pp. 19-20). 
Apparently, it goes without saying that if some aspect markers have 
independent meaning of their own, they can no longer be considered as aspect 
markers, since aspect markers, by definition, have only grammatical 
functions and are devoid of any independent semantic meaning. 

From every indication, YL is largely an aspectual rather than a tensed 
language, as Comrie (1976: 82) also rightly observed, although he didn't go into 
detail. In other words, a close look at the language reveals that the internal 



42 



temporary constituency of a particular activity or event is far more important 
than the actual time of its performance. This is in no way to say that YL cannot 
indicate time relations, when such information is relevant. Like any other 
language, YL can and does indicate time relations, generally by the means of 
adverbial expressions (syntactic) rather than by changes in the verb 
(morphological). That is, such information, when appropriate, is coded by 
means of additional lexical items rather than through inflection of the verb 
stem. It may also be omitted if not relevant. Indeed, as Lyons has pointed out, in 
YL the process of the action is primarily the focus of the aspectual markers 
(cf. Lyons 1968). As we have seen, most of these markers have been analyzed, 
to one degree or another, as tense markers by earlier Yoruba grammarians 
(cf. Delano 1965, Bamgbose 1966, 1967, Ogunbowale 1970, Awobuluyi 1978, 
Awoyale 1988, etc.). The purpose of this chapter is to attempt to bring some 
degree of clarity into this often muddy area of YL grammar. 

2.1 The Nature of the V erb Phrase (VP) in YL 
I begin my analysis with the nature of the verb phrase (VP), because I 
believe that it is impossible to do any satisfactory analysis of aspectual, or even 
temporal relations in the language without first of all understanding how the 
VP operates in the overall syntactic set up. 

The VP in Yoruba has probably received more attention from Yoruba 
linguists than any other aspect of the language and has been the center of a 
major controversy and debate for many years (Bamgbose 1972, Bolorunduro 
1980). The nature of this controversy has been simply summarized by 
Bamgbose, 

The most problematic issue in the analysis of the Yoruba verb phrase 
has always been how to find a defining criterion (or criteria) for verbs 
which will be sufficiently powerful to embrace all verbs, and yet 
exclude all non-verbs... In this matter, there are two schools of thought 



43 



the 'wide definition' school who would accept as a verb any non- 
nominal item in the verb phrase (sometimes including auxiliaries), and 
the 'narrow definition' school who would accept as verbs only those 
items in the verb phrase which can occur in a minimal sentence (i.e. a 
basic sentence having only one verb). (Bamgbose 1972: 1, 17). 

This should not be a surprise to anyone who knows anything about the 

central role the verb plays in a sentence. Due to the many disagreements on 

the nature and order of the VP in YL, however, a foundational conference on 

the Yoruba Verb Phrase (YVP) was convened under the auspices of the Egbe 

Onimo Ede Yoruba (The Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria) at the 

University of Ibadan-Nigeria's foremost tertiary institution-on April 1-2, 

1971 to discuss and consider possible solutions to this thorny issue in Yoruba 

language studies. The 1971 seminar was itself a follow-up to an earlier one held 

at another major Nigerian university, the Obafemi AwolowO University (then 

known as the University of Ife), Ile-Ife from December 13-16, 1969. It was at 

this conference that the issue of the YVP was raised. At the root of this 

controversy are the many disagreements on what really constitutes a verb in 

YL (cf. Bamgbose 1972.) The end product of the YVP Conference was a special 

volume entitled The Yoruba. Verb Phrase edited by Professor Ayo Bamgbose 

and published in 1972. It contained a series of articles presented at the 

conference by noted Yoruba linguists—Afolayan, Awobuluyi, Bamgbose, 

Kujore, Oyelaran and Oke. Each paper contained the views and perspectives of 

the various presenters at this important conference. There have been several 

other conferences and colloquia on the Yoruba verb as well as other aspects of 

the language since the first two mentioned above and several articles have 

been written and yet the debate rages on. 

According to my analysis, the VP in YL consists of ASPECT + VERB + 

(OPTIONAL) ADVERB OF TIME . Thus the verb is preceded by the obligatory 

aspectual markers (see example (1) and (2) below) and followed optionally by 



44 



adverbial expressions of time, if and when necessary (examples (3) and (4)). 
However, it is not uncommon to find adverbs of time preceding the aspect 
markers and the verb, as examples (5) and (6) clearly demonstrate. Thus, 
although the aspectual markers must obligatorily precede the verb, the time 
adverbs can optionally appear at the beginning of a sentence, mostly as a 
focus device (when writing they are immediately followed by a comma), to 
draw attention to the time element in the sentence. Nevertheless, in a non- 
focus construction, the regular position of the time adverbs is post-verbal, as 
examples (3) and (4) below indicate. The fact that the optional time adverbs 
can either precede or come after the verb shows clearly their independent, 
lexical nature. The aspect markers, however, do not have an independent 
lexical meaning. The fact that they do have a grammatical meaning, though, 
can be seen from the fact that when placed before verbs, they provide the 
sentence with much needed aspectual information, but placed post-verbally, 
they become grammatically meaningless. Their meaning is therefore derived 
from their position before the verb. It is in this sense that they can be 
classified as proclitics in particular and clitics in general. From the foregoing, 
it is obvious that the optional elements in the grammar (e.g. time adverbs) are 
for the most part post-verbal while those that are obligatory, such as pronouns 
and aspect markers, are pre-verbal. 

In examples (1-2) below, the incompletive aspect marker 'n' and the 
relational aspect marker 'ti' precede the verbs 'sise' and 'kawe' respectively. 
In both cases the sentences would be ungrammatical if the aspect markers 
were to follow the main verbs, as in examples (lb-2b) indicate, 

2.2.1 The Incomnletive Aspprt 

(1) Mo n sise. 
IpS INCOMPLETIVE work 
'I am working/ was working.' 



45 



(lb) *Mo si$e n. 

IpS work INCOMPLETIVE 
'I am working /was working.' 



2.2.2 The Relational Aspect 

(2) O ti kawe tan. 

2pS RELATIONAL read+book finish 
'You have finished reading/studying.' 

(2 b) *0 kawe tan. ti. 

2pS read+book finish RELATIONAL 
'You have finished reading/studying.' 

The ungrammaticality of examples (lb) and (2b) stems from the fact 
that there is a violation of word order. In both instances, the aspect markers 
'n' and 'ti' are placed after the verbs 'sis6' and 'kawe tan'. The position of 
aspect markers is obligatorily pre-verbal, so they cannot be placed post- 
verbally under any circumstance. 

2 .2 .3 The Habitual + Post-verbal Time Marker 

The next two sentences provide examples of adverbial time marking. In 
(3) the idea of time is provided only by the adverb 'lojoojumo' (daily); in (4) it 
is the adverb '161a' that provides us with definite time frame for the 
performance of the activity in question. In both sentences, the aspect markers 
'maa n' and 'yio' do not provide us with any sense of time. In fact, sentence (3) 
could have both a present and a past interpretation, depending on the context 
of usage. It could mean either "You work everyday" or "You used to work 
everyday (in the past)". Thus, the issue here is not that of time but rather of 
the internal structure of the activity. Likewise, example (4) has nothing to do 
with tense and everything to do with intentionality. It means that the speakers 
intend to do something. It is the addition of '161a' to it that frames it in time and 
gives it a future interpretation. 



46 



(3) E maari sise (LOJOOJUMO.) 

2pP HABITUAL work everyday 
'You work everyday/used to work everyday.' 



2.2.4 The Intentional + Post-verbal Time Marker 

(4) Awa yio lo si Oyo (LOLA.) 

lpP INTENTIONAL go DIREC Oyo tomorrow 
'We will go to Oyo tomorrow.' 



2.2.5 Completive Aspect + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Introducing a Focus) 

In examples (5-6) the time adverbs 'lanaa' and '161a' have been focused, 
to signal a focus construction. In these examples, the adverbs of time have 
replaced the pronouns 'won' and 'a' in the subject position to indicate the 
speaker's intention to emphasize the time frame in which the activity was or 
would be performed. 

(5) (LANAA,) wqn lo si Ibadan. 
Yesterday, 3pP go DIRECTIONAL Ibadan 
'Yesterday, they went to Ibadan.' 



2.2.6 The Anticipative + Pre-verbal Time Marker (Focus) 

(6) (LOLA,) a maa se irinajd. 
Tomorrow lpP ANTICIP do journey 
'Tomorrow, we might/probably will travel.' 

As amply demonstrated in the introductory part of this chapter, time (or 
tense) is not of utmost importance in YL, as aspect is, which is obligatorily 
marked. Aspect is important conceptually and syntactically obligatory. The 
omission of an aspect marker in a YL sentence does not mean that aspect is not 
present, but rather that the completive aspect is meant (cf. section 2.2.5 & 
2.2.7.) 



47 



2.2.7 The Completive Aspect 

The completive aspect is generally unmarked in syntax, as the following 

example indicates: 

(7) Mo jsun. 
IpS eat 
•I ate'.' 

In the above example, there is no overt marking for aspect. The first 
person personal pronoun 'Mo' (I) is immediately followed by the verb 'jeun' 
(to eat). However, the sentence has a completive interpretation. The activity of 
eating has both begun and ended; it is full and complete. There is nothing to be 
added to or taken away from it, as would have been the case with the 
incompletive aspect, which describes an activity still in progress. 

2,3 Aspect in Yoruba 
Overall there are twelve identifiable aspects in YL which Can be further 
categorized into two types: simple and complex aspects. The simple aspect 
series consists of five aspects. Four of these are marked by single aspect 
markers while one is the unmarked. The complex aspect series consists of 
seven sequences of combinations of the simple aspects. Five of them are a 
series of two simple aspects co-occuring in a syntactically constrained order 
while two are a complex of three simple aspects, also co-occuring in a 
syntactically constrained order. Like I have mentioned earlier and will discuss 
in greater detail shortly, aspect is of utmost importance in YL and is 
obligatory, so much so that even when it is not overtly marked in syntax, it is 
still assumed to be present, in an unmarked form (cf. completive aspect in 2.2.7 
and 2.3.2.1). 



48 



2.3.1 Aspe ct Constraints On Per son Markin g And Pronoun Selection 

In YL, subject pronoun selection is partially determined by aspect. 
There are basically two types of subject pronouns: regular and emphatic (also 
referred to in the literature as pronominals due to the similarity of their 
behavior to nouns). Both forms of the pronoun can occur in subject position 
before the VP, with certain restrictions on the regular pronouns. The regular 
pronouns, for example, cannot occur before an interrogative sentence ending 
with the interrogative and locative verbs 'da' and 'nk6' and the subsequent 
responses to these questions(cf. examples 8-llb). They also do not occur before 
the existence verb, 'ni' and the non-existence verb, 'ko', (cf. 12-15b) nor in 
compound NP structures, using a conjunction (cf. 16-18b). Above all, they 
cannot occur before the intentional aspect 'yi6' (cf. 19-20b), albeit they are 
acceptable before the alternative form '6', which is probably a contracted 
form of 'yio'. The anticipative aspect 'maa' is the preferred form, however, in 
such instances (cf. section 2.3.2.5. & 2.2.2.4). In all of the above mentioned 
instances, only the emphatics may be used. 

Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb: da 

In examples (8-8b) below, the use of the regular pronoun before the 

interrogative verb 'da' is ungrammatical, but replacing the regular pronoun 

with the emphatic makes it acceptable. The same analysis is true for examples 

(9) and (9b), where the regular pronoun 'Won' must be replaced by the 

emphatic 'Awon' to make the sentence grammatically acceptable. 

(8) *0 da? 

2pS(RP) INTV? 

(8b) Iwq da? 

2pS(EP) INTV? 
'Where is she/he/it?' 



49 



(9) *Wqn da? 

3pP(SP) INTV? 

(9b) Awon da? 

3pP(EP) INTV? 
'Where are they?' 



Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Interrogative Verb: nko 

In the following examples, the interrogative verb 'nk6' cannot cooccur 
with the regular forms of the pronoun subject 'A'and 'Mo' (10, 11); only the 
emphatic forms of the pronoun, 'Awa' and 'Emi' (10b, lib), are acceptable. 



(10) *A nko? 
lpP(RP) INTV 

(10b) Awa nko? 
lpP(EP) INTV 
'What about us?/And us?' 

(11) *Mo nko? 
lpS(RP) INTV 

(lib) Emi nkd? 
lpS(EP) INTV 
'What about me?/And me?' 



Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Presentative Verbs: "ni" and "k6" 

Likewise, the regular pronouns are not acceptable before both the 
affirmative and negative forms of the so-called presentative verb. The 
examples below will illustrate my point. 



(12) *Mo ni Temi. 

lpS(RP) be Temi 

(12b) Emi ni Temi. 

lpS(EP) be Temi 
'I am Temi/My name is Temi.' 



In (12) above, the sentence is ungrammatical because the presentative 
verb 'ni' is not permitted to select a regular pronoun. (12b) is grammatical 



50 



because 'ni' is preceded by the emphatic form of the first person singular 
subject pronoun 'emi'. In (13 & 13b) below, the same rule is applicable to the 
negative form of the verb 'ni'. As in the affirmative form, 'ko' is allowed to 
select only the emphatic form of the pronoun. The same explanation for (12- 
12b) goes for examples (14-15b). 



(13) *Mo ko (ni) Temi. 
lpS(RP) NEGbe(be) Temi 

(13b) Emi Jco (ni) Temi. 

lpS(RP) NEGbebe Temi 
I am not Temi. 

(14) *0 ni. 
2pS(RP) be 

(14b) Iwo ni. 

2pS(EP) be 
'It's you.' 

(15) *0 kQ. 
2pS(RP) NEG 

(15b) Iwo kq. 

2pS(EP) NEG 
'It isn't you.' 



Regular and Emphatic Pronouns + Compound NP Structures 

The regular subject pronoun forms (16, 17 and 18) cannot occur in a 
compound NP structure using a conjunction, as illustrated in the examples 
below. Compound NP structures require the use of emphatic pronouns, as we 
find in (16b, 17b and 18b). The regular pronoun forms make examples (16, 17 
and 18) ungrammatical, as illustrated below. 



(16) *Mo ati o fee sis?. 

lpS(RP) and 2pS(RP) want work 

(16b) Emi ati dun fee' $is$. 

lpS(EP) and 2pS(EP) want work 
'She/He and I want to work.' 



51 



(17) *E pelu won fee jeun. 
2pP(RP) with/and 3pP(RP) want eat 

(17b) Eyin p$lu awon fe<? jeun. 

2pP(EP) with/and 2pP(EP) want eat 
'You and they want to eat.' 

(18) *Ta ni, o tabi 67 
Who be 2ps(RP) or 3pS(RP) 

(18b) Ta ni, iwo tabi dun? 

Who be, 2pS(EP) or 3pS(EP) 
'Who is it, she/he or you?' 



Finally, there is a syntactic constraint that does not permit the 
intentional aspect 'yio' to select the personal pronoun subject, a clear 
indication that aspect also determines the choice of pronoun. Thus the 
intentional aspect 'yio' selects only the emphatic pronoun, while the other 
aspect markers can select either the regular or the emphatic pronoun. 
However, when they do select the emphatic it is generally for purposes of 
emphasis. Thus sentences (21-22) below are grammatical, while sentence (19- 
20) aren't. 

2.3.1.1 Intentional Aspect ± Regular Pronoun 

(19) *Mo yio lo si ile-iwe. 
lpS(RP) INTEN go DIRECTIONAL school 

(20) *Wpn yio lo si ile-iwe'. 
3pP(RP) INTEN go DIREC school 



2.3.1.2 Intentional + Emphatic Pronoun 

(21) EMI yio lo si ile-iwe. 
lpS(EP) INTEN go DIREC school 
'I intend to go to school.' 

(22) AWONyi6 lo si ile-iwe. 
3pP(EP) INTEN go DIREC school 
'They intend to go to school.' 



52 

Examples (19-20) above are ungrammatical because the intentional 
aspect 'yio' selects the regular pronoun 'mo' and 'w6n\ which cannot cooccur 
with the intentional. A table of the two types of subject pronoun in YL is also 
given below. 



Table 2.1 

Person Number Pronoun Type Pronoun Type 

Regular Emphatic 

1st Singular mo emi 

2nd o iwo 

3rd 6 6un 

1st Plural a awa 

2nd e eyin 

3rd w6n awon 



The above table shows clearly that YL pronouns are marked for both 
person (1st, 2nd & 3rd) and number (singular & plural) but not for gender. The 
third person of both singular and plural could refer to either female or male, 
human or non-human. Thus the third person singular '6' could mean any of 
she, he or it. For every form of the regular pronoun there is a corresponding 
emphatic pronoun. In fact, a closer scrutiny reveals that the regular forms 
might have been derived from the emphatic or pronominal forms. This is 
probably why linguists like Ogunbowale (1970) prefer to call the regular 
pronouns "short forms" and the emphatic as "full forms", suggesting that the 
shorter forms must have been derived from the longer or "full" forms. 

Bamgbose (1967) sees the emphatic pronouns as "a noun which 
resembles a pronoun" (p. 11) and refers to them as "pronominals", making 



53 

allusion to their ambivalent nature. Other linguists have called them 
"independent pronouns", due to their ability to also play the role of nouns in 
certain contexts (ibid.). Bamgbose's stance is that they are indeed nouns, due to 
their ability to take qualifiers and their tonal behavior which is similar to that 
of nouns. Recognizing their role in emphasis, Bamgbose adds that they "act as 
emphatic equivalents of pronouns" (ibid.). But he insists that they are more 
than just pronouns due to the fact that they can substitute for pronouns where 
the regular pronouns cannot occur in syntax (i.e. in the instances already 
mentioned above). 

2.3.1.3 Comp letive Asnect + Regular Pronoun 

In the sentences that follow, examples are provided of instances when 
various aspect markers cooccur, first with the regular pronouns, then with 
the emphatic pronouns. In examples (23-24), the completive aspect 
(unmarked) cooccurs with the first and second person regular subject 
pronouns 'Mo' and 'O' respectively. 

(23) MO lo si ile-iwe. 
IpS go DIREC school 
'I went to school.' 

(24) O lo si ile-iw£. 
2pS go DIREC school 
'You went to school.' 

2.3.1.4 Completive Aspect + Emphatic Pronoun 

In the next two examples (25-26), the two sentences above (23-24) are 
repeated, but this time the emphatic pronoun is used in place of the regular 
pronouns. The only difference in these examples and the previous ones is 
simply that of emphasis ~ the speaker is emphasized in (25-26). 



54 



(25) EMI Iq si ile-iwe. 
IpSEMPH go DIREC school 
'I indeed did go to school.' 

(26) IWO lo si ile-iwe. 
2pS go DIREC school 
'You indeed did go to school. 1 



2.3.1.5 Relational Asne rt + Regular Pronoun 

In the following two examples, the relational aspect 'ti' occurs with the 
third and second person regular pronouns 'W6n' and 'E' respectively. 



(27) WON ti Iq si ite-iwe. 
3pP RELAT go DIREC. school 
'They have gone to school.' 

(28) E ti Iq si ile-iwe. 
2pP RELAT go DIREC school 
'You have gone to school.' 



2.3.1.6 Relational Aspect + Emphatic Pronoun 

In examples (29-30) we have the emphatic forms of the pronouns in 
(27-28) above, an indication that the relational aspect can cooccur with either 
forms of the pronouns, the only difference being the emphasis that the latter 
add to the statements through the use of the pronominals or emphatics. 



(29) AWONti lo si ile-iwe. 
3pPEMPH RELAT go DIREC school 
'They indeed have gone to school.' 

(30) EYIN ti lo si ile-iwe. 
2pPEMPH RELAT go DIREC school 
'I indeed have gone to school. 1 



2.3.1.7 Habitual Asnert + Regular Pronoun 

In (31) the habitual aspect occurs with the second person singular 
regular pronoun 'o' while in (32) it occurs with the third person plural 
regular pronoun 'won'. 



55 



(31) O maari lo si ile-iwe. 

2pS HABITUAL go DIREC. school 
•She/he (habitually) goes to school/went to school.' 

(32) Won maari lo si ile-iwe. 

3pP HABITUAL go DIREC school 
'They habitually go to school/went to school.' 



2.3.1.8 Habitual + Emphatic Pronoun 

In the next examples, the emphatic forms of the pronouns in (31-32) are 
used to show that the habitual can select either the regular or the emphatic 
forms ('iwo' and 'awon') of the same pronouns (33-34). Again, the difference 
is mainly that of emphasis~the emphatics are used to bring an added emphasis 
to the subject of the sentences. 



(33) IWO maari lo si ile-iwe. 
2pSEMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school 
'She/he indeed goes/went (habitually) to school.' 

(34) AWONmaarilo si ile-iwe. 
3pPEMPH HABITUAL go DIREC school 
'They indeed go to school/went to school.' 



2.3.1.9 Antecedent Completion + Regular Pronoun 

In examples (35-36) below, we have instances of the occurrence of 
forms of the regular pronoun occuring with the antecedent completion aspect 
(maa n). 



(35) A ti maari lo si ile-iwe. 
lpP ANTECOMP go DIREC school 
'We used to have gone to school.' 

(36) E ti maari lo si ile-iwe. 
2pP ANTECOMP go DIREC school 
'You used to have gone to school.' 



56 



2.3.1.0 Antecedent Comp letion + Emphatic Pronoun 

In sentences (37-38) the emphatic forms of the first and second person 
plural regular pronouns (A and E) cooccur with the antecedent completion 
aspect. 

(37) AW A timaari lo si ile-iw<$. 
lpPEMPH ANTECOMP go DIREC school 
'We (indeed) used to have gone to school.' 

(38) EYIN timaan io si ile-iwe. 
2pP EMPH ANTECOMP go DIREC school 
'You (indeed) used to have gone to school.' 

The examples above indicate that although the intentional must of 
necessity select the emphatic, the other aspect markers can select either the 
regular pronoun forms or the emphatic forms (for purposes of emphasis). This 
goes for both the simple (19-30) and complex (31-38) aspects, as the sentences 
above amply illustrate. 

2.3.2 The Simple Aspect Series 

There are five identifiable simple aspects in YL: the completive aspect 
which is unmarked, the incompletive 'n', the relational 'ti', the anticipative 
'maa', and the intentional 'yio'. It is these simple aspects which combine in 
their various forms to produce the complex aspects. 

2.3.2.1 The Completive Aspect (Unmarked) 

The unmarked form of the verb indicates a completed action. Some 
linguists (cf. Comrie 1976: 82) have sought to exclude stative verbs from this 
aspect form by using a stative/active dichotomy, under the rubric of 
perfective/imperfective opposition. In such analyses, active verbs (See 
examples 39-41 below) are classified as having perfective meaning, while 



57 



stative verbs (42-44) are classified as having imperfective meaning. I, 
however, believe that the completive ('perfective' in Comrie's classification) 
includes both the active and stative forms of the verb. My reason for this all- 
inclusive classification is that in (42-44) the states of 'wanting,' 'knowing' and 
'having' something is complete. In (43) my knowledge of the third person is 
complete, while in (42) and (44), the states of 'wanting' and 'having' are also 
full, or complete. It is in this sense that I believe that the completive should 
include both active and stative forms of the verb. 

The completive aspect constitutes the unmarked form of the aspect 
system. It is therefore to be noted that in YL, even when you don't mark aspect, 
it still is an aspect. The following examples will amply illustrate my point. 



(39) Mo lo si ile-iwe. 
IpS go DIREC school 
'I went to school.' 

(40) A jeun. 
lpP eat 
'We ate.' 

(41) E sis$. 
2pP work 
'You worked.' 

(42) W0n f(? owd. 
3pP want money 
'They want money.' 

(43) Mo mo 6. 
IpS know 3 pS 

T know her/him/it.' 

(44) Mo m He. 
IpS have house 
'I have a house.' 



It is to be observed in the above examples that, by default, the unmarked 
form of the verb (39-44) is automatically given a completive interpretation, 



58 



whether it be stative or non-stative verb. I therefore consider the completive 
aspect the first in the series of the simple aspects. 



2.3.2.2 The Incomoletive Aspect; n 

Next in the series of simple aspects is the incompletive /realised by 'n'/ . 
Here, the focus is ongoingness of the activity. As the illustrative examples 
indicate, the time, past, current, or recent, is not carried by this aspect. The 
activity could be in progress either in the present or before the present. For 
example, (45-47) could be rendered both in the present or in the past, in the 
absence of context or adverbs indicating time. If we must insist on the 
knowledge of time, then we must rely on the discourse context surrounding 
the statement (where a context is provided) or on time adverbials, such as are 
provided in (48-50) below. In (48), the adverb 'bayii' situates the activity in a 
present time frame, whereas in (49-50), the past time frame of the activities 
involved is provided by the time adverbials lanaa' and 'leekan' respectively. 



(45) Mo ri lo si ojk. 
IpS INCOM go DIREC. market 
'I am going/was going to the market.' 

(46) Won ri sisg. 
3pP INCOM work 

They are busy /were busy working.' 

(47) A ri o nigbkti o ri Iq sile. 

lpP see you when you INCOM go DIREC+home 
'We saw you when you were going home.' 

(48) Mo ri lo si ojk BAYII. 
IpS INCOM go DIREC market now 

'I am going to the market right now.' 

(49) E ri sis? LANAA. 
2pP INCOM work yesterday 
'You were working yesterday.' 

(50) A ri o nigbkti o ri lo He LEEKAN. 
lpP see you when you INCOM go home a while ago 
'We saw you when you were going home a short while ago.' 



59 



2.3.2.3 The Relational; ti 

The relational aspect describes an event or activity that is not complete, 
with reference to an ongoing event. It is thus incomplete in relation to 
another activity or event. In the examples below, although an activity has 
taken place, its relevance or effect is still ongoing. For instance, in example 
(51), although the speaker has performed the act of going to school, it is 
understood that she is still in school and has not yet returned home. The same 
explanation goes for (52) and (53). In (52), the speakers, or subjects of the 
sentence, have arrived from school. The act of arrival is still felt at the 
moment of speech. They have not returned to school yet, but are still in the 
arrival mode. In (53), although the activity of eating has taken place sometime 
before the moment of speech, its effect is still being felt and is still considered 
incomplete with reference to other activity or event at the moment of 
utterance. 

(51) O ti 1q si ile-iwe. 
3pS RELATIONAL go DIREC school 
'She has gone to school/She went to school.' 

(52) A ti de. 
lpP RELAT arrive 

'We have arrived/We are here.' 

(53) E ti j?un. 
2pP RELAT. eat 

'You have eaten/ You ate.' 

2.3.2.4 The Irrealis Aspects 

In the same manner that there is a realis completive (cf. 2.3.2.1.) and 
incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.2.), there is likewise an irrealis completive and 
incompletive. The irrealis aspects comprise two simple tenses: the anticipative, 
'maa' and the intentional, 'yi6'. Whereas 'maa' describes an anticipated event 
or activity, 'yio' gives completeness to the anticipation in 'maa'. Thus, 'yi6' is a 



60 



type of completive, an irrealis completive, while 'maa' is an irrrealis 
incompletive, by virtue of the incompleteness of the knowledge involved (cf. 
(54-56)). With the intentional, the knowledge is full and complete (cf. (57-60)). 
I will be describing these two aspects in greater detail in the next two sections. 

2.3.2.4.1 The Anticipative: maa 

The anticipative is the first in the series of the irrealis aspects. With the 
anticipative, we have an activity that is non-existent but likely to take place. It 
is non-completive, not ongoing, and though it is likely to happen, we do not 
know for sure. It can therefore be used in predicting, planning, or 
speculation. 

In the following examples, the activities have not yet taken place, and 
though the speakers have verbally made their intentions known about these 
"yet to take place" activities, there is nothing that guarantees that they surely 
will perform those activities. In (56) for instance, although the speaker 
expects and anticipates that the visitors in question will make the visit, she 
cannot be completely certain if they will indeed make it. In (54), the speaker 
anticipates, has plans or desires to go to the farm. This plan may or may not be 
realized, depending on the circumstances or other unpredictable factors. Thus 
it indicates a yearning, a desiring to do something. Similarly in (55), the 
speakers have some plans to go to the stream on the day in question, a plan 
that may or may not be realized. The main difference between this aspect and 
the next one— the intentional—is that whereas with the intentional the 
speaker exercises control over the actions to be performed, with the 
anticipative she has no control, or better still, does not exercise control 
(through the power of the will). One can therefore say that with the 
anticipative, there is a lack or an absence of will power. 



61 



(54) Mo maa lo si oko. 
IpS ANTI go DIREC farm 

'I will go to the farm/I might go to the farm/I have plans to go to 
the farm.' 

(55) A maa lo si odd lonii. 
lpP ANTI go DIREC stream today 

*We will/might go to the stream today /We have plans to go to the 
stream today.' 

(56) Won maa wa ki wa. 
3pP ANTI come greet us 

'They will/might come to visit us/They have plans to come and 
visit us.' 

2.3.2.4.2 The Intentional: vio 

The intentional is very similar to the anticipative in that both refer to 
activities that are non existent but likely. In fact, it is the second in the series 
of the irrrealis aspects, which comprise the anticipative and the intentional 
(cf. 2.3.2.4). The main difference between them is that whereas the 
anticipative 'maa' has a decisiveness to it, the intentional 'yid' has a certain 
intentionality to it~the object of the utterance is focalized for intention. Thus 
it has to do with the will of the speaker. It is something she has made up her 
mind about. It also denotes that the speaker has control over the performance 
of the activity in question, and has weighed all the options before making the 
decision. 

It is important to note, too, that the syntax of 'maa' is different from that 
of 'yi'6' (cf. 2.3.2.4.1). While 'maa' co-occurs with the regular pronouns, 'yio' 
can only occur with the emphatic pronoun. Thus, 'yio' has to be agented, with 
a force of will to come to pass. The will of the speaker has to be involved, and 
this requires the attributes of an agent to be emphasized. Below, in example 
(57), the speaker-agent is determined to go to school, a determination that 
comes from the force of the will. What the speaker is saying, in practical terms 
is "I have made up my mind to go to school, come what may. I have made up my 



62 



mind about it." Similarly, in (59), the speakers have determined to complete 
the assigned work on the day of the utterance. They are saying in essence, "We 
have considered all the options and have come to the conclusion that this job 
must and will be completed by us today." In (58) the speaker has the privileged 
knowledge about a firm decision taken by a third person to buy a car that year, 
although she may not have any ability or power to make them do it. The 
speaker has power only over her own decisions and it is likely for this reason 
that in the second and third persons, although the emphatic form of the 
pronoun is preferred, the regular form of the pronoun is also allowed. 
However, in the first person, only the emphatic form of the pronoun may be 
used, as already explained in sections 2.3.1.1. and 2.3.1.2 above. The explanation 
for (58) is equally applicable to (60) in which second persons are involved. 

(57) EMI yid 1q si ile-iwe. 
IpS INTEN go DIREC school 

I intend to go to school/ I have made up my mind to go 
to school/ I have willingly chosen to go to school. 

(58) OUN yid ra mQtd ni qdun yii. 
2pS INTEN buy car PREP year this 
'She intends to buy a car this year.' 

(59) AWA yid pari is$ yii ldnii. 
lpP INTEN finish work this today 
'We intend to finish/complete this job today.' 

(60) EYIN yid wA ki wa 161a. 
2pP INTEN come greet us tomorrow 
'You intend to come and greet/visit us tomorrow.' 

The examples given for the five simple aspects above provide insight 
into the internal workings of the YL verb. Each shows a different aspect of the 
performance of the same activity. Obligatory inflections of the verb are done 
by aspectual markers. It is therefore obvious that aspect is syntactically 
obligatory in YL sentences. 



63 



These clitics co-occur in a grammatically constrained order. Any 
combination is possible except those containing l yi6' and 'n\ These two are 
mutually exclusive. Table 2.2 below presents a comprehensive list of all the 
sequences of combination in the language, which can be summarized by the 
simple formula ((((yio) + (((((ti)) + ((maa)))) + (n)))). 



Ta ble 2 2 

i. yi6 ti 

ii. yio ti maa 

iii. yio maa 

iv. ti maa 

v. ti maa h 

vi. ti h 

vii. maa ri 



2.3.3 The Complex Aspect Series 

There are seven complex aspects in YL, each of them a combination of 
the simple aspects. Below are the combinations or co-occurences that make up 
the complex aspect series. Five of these complex aspects combine two simple 
aspects, while two consist of three simple aspects. Included in the first 
category are the backgrounder (yio ti), the inceptive (yio maa), the 
manifestive (ti maa), the relevant-inceptive (ti n) and the habitual (maa n). 
The second category of complex aspects comprises the expective (yio ti maa) 
and antecedent completion (ti maa n). Below are a couple of illustrative 
examples of how the simple aspects combine to produce the complex aspects. In 
the next section I will be defining and giving several examples to illustrate the 
various aspects and how they operate in syntax. For now, however, I will limit 



64 



my consideration to the two- and three-part structures referred to above. In 
example (61), the anticipative 'maa' combines with the incompletive 'n' to 
derive the habitual 'maa n\ 

(61) Mo maa n w£ lojoojumQ. 
IpS HABITUAL bathe daily 

'I bathe daily/ everyday.' 

In example (62), the relational 'ti', the anticipative 'maa' and the 
incompletive 'n' combine to derive the complex that I call the antecedent 
completion. These two aspects, as well as all of the others mentioned previously 
will be further discussed in the succeeding sections. 

(62) A ti maa ri tan ki won to de. 
lpP ANTCOMP work finish before 3 pP PART arrive 
'We used to have finished working before they arrived.' 

2 .3 .3.1 Backgrounder: Intentional/Decisive + Relational 

The first in the series of the complex aspects is the BACKGROUNDER 'yio 
ti'. This is derived from the combination of the INTENTIONAL 'yio' and the 
RELATIONAL 'ti'. It provides a background to another action that is yet to take 
place. It is important to mention, at this juncture, that every complex aspect 
that begins with 'yio' must of necessity be preceded by an agent focuser, as 
exemplified in the sentences below (cf. 2.3.2.5 above.) Thus the explanation for 
'yio' as well as the constraints that go with it also applies to the 
BACKGROUNDER. 

In the following examples, the backgrounder aspect operates within the 
main clause to provide a background to the event described in the subordinate 
clause that is introduced by 'ki' (before). In (63) for instance, the speaker, also 
the subject of the main clause, expects to have completed work before the 
arrival of the subject of the subordinate clause. She has resolved, having made 



65 



a decision by her will power to finish the work before the second person 
arrives on the scene. The same explanation is true for the remaining three 
examples, where 'yio ti' provides a background to the succeeding event in the 
sentence. 

(63) Emi yio ti fi$4 tan ki o to de. 

IpS BACKGRD work finished before 2pS PARTICLE arrive 
T definitely will have finished working before you arrive.' 

(64) Awa yio ti lo ki e to pada. 
lpP BACKGRD go before 2pP PART arrive 

'We definitely/ surely will have left before you return.' 

(65) Oun yio ti sun ki o to j(?un tan. 
3pS BACKGRD sleep before 2pS PART eat finish 
'He surelywill have slept before you finish eating.' 

(66) Iwo yio ti gbal$ ki a td set£n. 
2pS BACKGRD. sweep before lpP PART do+finish 
'You surely will have swept the floor before we are ready.' 

As an additional emphasis on the expected completion of the first event 
or activity prior to the second one, "tan" (finish) is sometimes postposed to the 
main verb of the first clause (if it is a punctual verb), as example (63) 
illustrates. In this example, 'tan' is not obligatory in the main clause, but is 
included for added emphasis on the intended completion of the main event 
prior to the second one. Thus, although "tan" could be suffixed to the verbs in 
(63) and (66), it cannot be added to the verbs 'lo' and 'sun' in (64) and (65) 
because "go" and "sleep" are not punctual activities. 

2.3.3.2 Expective: Intentional+ Relational +Anticipative 

The EXPECTrVE 'yi6 ti maa' is a combination of three aspect markers, the 
intentional 'yio', the relational 'ti' and the anticipative 'maa'. It describes an 
activity that will have begun and still be ongoing before another one takes 
place. It is actually a complex of the backgrounder and the anticipative 



66 



aspects. Whereas with the backgrounder aspect (Section 2.3.3.1) the subject of 
the main clause intends to have completed the job at hand prior to the arrival 
of the subject of the subordinate clause, with the expective, she expects to have 
begun working prior to and would still be working when the subject of the 
second clause arrives on the scene. Thus, the work would have begun 
sometime before the arrival of the second person and would still be continuing 
and be ongoing while she arrives. Thus, whereas the backgrounder deals with 
an event that would have begun and have been completed before another 
event, the expective deals with an event that would have begun and would still 
be ongoing before a second event takes place. It should be observed that 
because of their basic differences, the EL translations provided below, being 
an attempt to capture the meaning of the YL combinations, may not 
necessarily to sound grammatical. 

(67) Emi yio ti maa sise Jd o to de. 

I EXPECTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive 

'I will have/expect to have started working before you arrive.' 

(68) Iwo yi6 ti maa kawe ki a to ji. 

2pS EXPECTIVE read before lpP PART wake up 
'You will have been reading before we wake up.' 

(69) Eyin yid ti maa gbale Id a to $etan. 
2pP EXPECTIVE sweep before we PART finish 
'You will have been sweeping before we finish.' 

2.3.3.3. Incentive: Intentional/Decisive + Anticipative 

The INCEPTrVE aspect is one of the important highlights of my analysis 
of YL aspectual categories, in that the two simple aspects that make up this 
complex aspect have been analyzed by almost all previous YL linguists as one 
and the same, whether they were classified as tenses (as in Bamgbose 1966, 
1967; Ogunbowale 1970) or as aspects (as in Amoran 1986). The fact that both 
aspects can combine to form a complex aspect is a clear indication that both 



67 



cannot be one and the same. If they were synonymous, their combination must 
of necessity be redundant and meaningless. The very possibility of both of 
them combining in syntax to create another (complex) aspect points to the fact 
that they must, by all means, be different and separate aspects, rather than 
simple synonymous alternates of a single aspect. 

The INCEPTIVE, 'yio maa' is derived from two irrealis aspects: the 
intentional 'y!6' and the anticipative 'maa'. It describes an activity that is yet 
to begin but which the speaker has decided to embark upon shortly. Thus, the 
subject of sentence (70) has made a decision--and it is this power of decision 
making that is involved which makes me feel that the "Decisive" is also an 
appropriate name for this aspect-by exercising the power of the will, to leave. 
There is an anticipation, informed by a decision, to embark upon the process 
of leaving the place of utterance. A similar analysis goes for the other two 
examples in (71-72) where the enunciators of the utterances have made 
decisions, using the power of their volition to move from point A to point B. In 
all instances, though, the activities in question have not yet been performed. 
They are at the inceptive point. 



(70) Emi yio maa lo. 
IpS INCEPTIVE go 

'I will be leaving/I have made up my mind about leaving any 
time from now/I anticipate leaving any moment from now due to 
an exercise of my will and volition.' 

(71) Awa yio maa $iwajuu yin lo. 
(lpP INCEPTIVE precede 2pP go) 

'We will be going ahead of you/We have decided to go on ahead of 
you and do intend to begin to do so right now/ any moment from 
now.' 

(72) Oun yio maa ba wa lona. 
3pS INCEPTIVE meet lpP on + way 

'She will be meeting us ahead/We anticipate that she will 

soon embark on the process of meeting us on the way because we 

are aware of her decision to do so.' 



68 



2.3.3.4 Manifestive: Relational + Anticipative 

The MANIFESTIVE 'ti maa' combines the relational 'ti' and the 
anticipative 'maa'. This sequence describes an activity that would have started 
prior to another one. Whereas in the previous aspect (the inceptive), the 
activity, though decided upon and expected to take place is yet to begin, in the 
manifestive the activity is expected to have begun and be ongoing before the 
second event takes place. This aspect is similar, in many ways, to the expective, 
the main difference between the two being that with the expective there is a 
quality decision taken, through the power of the will, thus providing a sense 
of certainty to the performance of the activity. With the manifestive, on the 
other hand, everything borders more on a desire to perform the activity. In 
(73) below, the speaker expects, desires, intends to have begun working and to 
keep on doing so by the time the subject of the second clause arrives on the 
scene. The work would have begun and be ongoing when the other person 
arrives. In contrast to the backgrounder (cf. 2.3.3.1), where the first activity is 
expected to have terminated before the second event, the activity here would 
still be going on by the time the second event takes place. 

(73) Mo ti maa ki o to de. 

I MANIFESTIVE work before 2pS PART arrive 
T will/may have started working before you arrive.' 

(74) A ti maa lo ki o to de. 
lpP MANIFEST go before 2ps PART arrive. 
'We will/may have left before you arrive.' 

(75) Won ti maa jeun ki a to $etan. 
3pP MANIFEST eat before lpP PART finish 
'They will/may have eaten before we get ready.' 

2.3.3.5 Antecedent Completion: Relational + Anticipative + Incomnletive 

The ANTECEDENT COMPLETION 'ti maa n' is a combination of three aspect 
markers, viz the relational 'ti', the anticipative 'maa' and the incompletive 'n\ 



69 



It can also be seen as the addition of incompleteness to the manifestive aspect, 
which combines the relational and the anticipative, but without the 
incompletive. This complex sequence describes an action that used to have 
been completed, on a regular basis, prior to another activity. Whereas the 
manifestive describes an activity that would have started prior to another one, 
the antecedent completion describes an activity or event that took place 
regularly before another one over a period of time prior to the moment of 
utterance. The next examples capture the complexity of this aspect. In (76), the 
subject of the main clause used to have completed working on a regular basis 
over an unspecified period of time in the past, prior to the arrival of the 
subject of the subordinate clause. In (77), the activity of eating used to have 
been performed prior to the departure of the subject of the second clause, and 
that on a regular basis. Again, as with the examples in the backgrounder 
aspect, the verb "tan" is usually postposed to the main verb of the main clause 
to add a note of finality to the completion of the activity in the main clause 
prior to the one described in the subordinate clause. In both of (76) and (77) 
"tan" is added to the main verb of the first clause to emphasize the completion 
of the first activity prior to the second one, however it will be redundant to do 
the same to the verb of the main clause in (78) because by its very nature 
'pari' (finish, complete) carries with it a note of completion and finality. It 
therefore does not need the help of the verb "tan", which carries a 
synonymous meaning. 

(76) Mo ti maa h $i$e tan M o to de. 
IpS ANTECOMP work finish before you PART arrive 
'I used to have finished working before you arrived.' 

(77) Wqii ti maa n jeun tan ki a to lo. 
3pP ANTE. COMP eat finish before lpP PART go 
'They used to have finished eating before we left.' 



70 



(78) E ti maa n pari ise kia to bere. 

2pP ANTECOMP finish work before lpP PART begin 
'You used to have finished working before we began.* 

2.3.3.6 Relevant-Incep tive: Relational + Incompletive 

The next complex aspect is the RELEVANT-INCEPTrVE 'ti n\ This aspect is 
a combination of the relational 'ti' and the incompletive 'n'. It describes an 
activity that has or had just started but is or was still on-going before another 
one. In (79) the speaker has begun the activity anterior to the arrival of the 
addressee and is still continuing to do so while the latter arrives on the scene. 
The work, though begun prior to the moment of speech, still has relevance 
and effect at the moment of speech. Although begun in the past, it carries on 
into the present. The effect is still felt and continues to be felt at the moment 
of the arrival of the subject of the second clause. Most likely, the arrival of the 
addressee must have interrupted the activity. In (80), the subjects of the main 
clause had been sleeping and still would have been sleeping without the 
interruption of the subjects of the subordinate clause. The act of sleeping 
carried on into the moment of speech and probably was interrupted with the 
arrival of the persons in the second clause. Similarly, in (81), the subject of 
the subordinate met that of the main clause busy washing at the stream. Thus 
in the antecedent completion the event in the main clause began at some time 
before the event introduced in the second clause. Although it began sometime 
before the time of utterance, its effect remained and probably will continue 
after the moment of interruption. The difference between this aspect and the 
antecedent completion is that whereas in the latter the activity is completed 
before the one described in the second clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the 
activity is not completed before the inception of the second one. It is still 
relevant in the present. 



71 



(79) Mo ti n sise ki o to de. 

I REL-INCEP work before 2pS PART arrive 

'I had begun and was working before you arrived/ I had begun 

working and am still at it while you arrive on the scene.' 

(80) Won ti h sun ki a to de He. 
3pP REL-INCEP sleep before lpP PART arrive home 
'They had already gone to bed and were sleeping before we got 
home.' 

(81) O ti n foso nigbati mo de odd. 
2pS REL-INCEP wash + clothes when IpS arrive stream 
'You were washing already /you had been washing when I 
arrived at the river.' 



2.3.3.7 Habitual: Anticipative + Incompletive 

The last aspectual combination, the HABITUAL, 'maa n', is a sequence of 
the anticipative 'maa' and the incompletive 'n'. It describes an activity that 
was performed on a regular basis prior to the present or is continually 
performed on a regular basis. It refers to a habitual event or activity, either in 
a timeless frame or in a past frame. Thus, without the addition of any adverb of 
time, the habitual could have either a timeless or a past interpretation. 
Example (82), for instance, could mean either "I used to work" or "I work 
always, habitually," the latter having no specific time frame of reference. In 
(83), the adverb of time 'lojoojumo' emphasizes the idea of regularity, but 
could be located either within a timeless frame or a past, just like example (82) 
indicates. In (84), the adverbial clause of time "nigbati mo wa ni ewe" frames 
the activity of working within a past time. It describes a regualr activity that 
took place on a habitual basis over a period of time when the speaker was still 
a youth. This is, however, no longer true of the speaker at the present moment. 



(82) Mo maa n sisq. 
IpS HABITUAL work 

'I work, habitually/I used to work, habitually/ I have or had a 
habit of working on a regular and consistent basis.' 



72 



(83) Mo maa n sise LOJOOJUMO. 
I HABITUAL work everyday 

T work daily/I used to work everyday/It is (was) habitual for me 
to work daily'. 

(84) Mo maa n sise NIGBATI MO WA NI EWE. 
IpS HABIT work when IpS be LOCATIVE youth 
T used to work (habitually) when I was young.' 

(85) A maa n lo si ile-iwe NIGBA YEN. 
lpP HABITUAL go DIREC school time that 
'We used to go to school then/at that time.' 

(86) Mo maa n lo si ite-isin LOSOOSE. 
IpS HABITUAL go DIREC house of worship weekly 
T go to/ used to go to the house of worship every week.' 

It is evident from the above analysis that although various aspectual 
markers can co-occur, the combinations themselves are aspects in their own 
right. These I have decided to refer to as complex aspects, to distinguish them 
from the simple aspects, and in doing so have answered Bolorunduro's 
question (cf. 2.0) with an affirmation: yes. If YL has simple, it also has complex 
aspects. These complex combinatorial sequences also help to expand the 
aspectual repertoire of YL, from what would have originally been just five to 
twelve in number-more than doubling its size. A careful look at the YL 
aspects described above reveal that although YL is fundamentally an aspectual 
language, it still has a way of relating events and activities to time, if and 
when it is necessary and important to do so. I will be focusing on how YL 
handles time in a greater detail in a later section (2.5) on time reference. 

2.3.3.8 Two Maior Categories of the Complex Aspects 

Further scrutiny of the complex aspects reveal that there are two main 
categories into which they can be subdivided-those that do not involve the 
RELATIONAL (simple) aspect and occur in simple sentences; and those that do 
and occur in complex sentences. Those that do not are two in number: the 



73 



INCEPTIVE, 'yio maa' and the HABITUAL, 'maa n' and those that do are five: the 
BACKGROUNDER 'yio ti', the EXPECTIVE 'yio ti maa', the MANIFESTIVE 'ti maa', 
the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION 'ti maa n' and the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE 'ti n'. In 
the next two subsections, I will be examining these two subcategories of the 
complex aspects. 

2.3.3.8.1 Complex Aspects Involving the RELATIONAL Aspect 

The complex aspects involving the relational aspect are as follows: the 
BACKGROUNDER (Intentional + Relational), the EXPEOTVE (Intentional + 
Relational + Anticipative), the MANIFESTP/E (Relational + Anticipative), 
the ANTECEDENT COMPLETION (Relational + Anticipative + Incompletive) and 
the RELEVANT-INCEPTIVE (Relational + Incompletive). These complex 
constructions are found primarily in complex sentences and generally 
require the use of the preposition 'ki' (before) and the verbal particle 'to' (be 
enough, be sufficient, be adequate, etc.), a clear indication that all the simple 
aspects that make up these complex aspects must relate to one another as well 
as relate the various component events or activities of the sentence/other 
clauses to each other. In the next few sections I will be illustrating how the 
relational aspect operates in the context of these complex sentences. 

2.3.3.8.1.1 The Backgrounder: Intentiona l + RELATIONAL 

The backgrounder (See section 2.3.3.1 for more details) combines the 
RELATIONAL with the intentional aspects. Examples (87-88) show how this 
combination operates in syntax. 

(87) Emi yio ti sun ki o to de. 

lpS INT + EE1AI sleep before 2pS PART arrive 
'I definitely will have slept before you return.' 



74 



(88) Awa yio ti jeun tan ki e to lo. 
lpP INT + RELAT eat finish before 2pP PART go 
'We definitely will have finished eating before you leave.' 

Examples (87) and (88) are both complex sentences comprising a main 
clause and a subordinate clause. The subordinate clauses are introduced by the 
preposition 'ki' (before) and their subjects are immediately followed by the 
verbal particle 't6\ The verbal particle 't6' could have any of the following 
interpretations -- "be adequate, be sufficient, be enough, reach limit". Each of 
these words have in their meanings a sense of "fullness" and "completeness". 
The verb 'tan' in (88) also has a sense of completeness inherent in its 
meaning. In both instances, the main clause (containing the aspect markers) 
provides a background to the event described in the subordinate clause. Both 
clauses are related one to the other and neither can stand on its own and still 
be meaningful. The RELATIONAL 'ti' is a major player in this configuration, 
due to its nature as the aspect that relates one action, event or activity to 
another (cf. section 2.3.2.3 on this aspect). 

2.3.3.8.1.2 The Expective: Intentional ± RELATIONAL + Anticipative 

The expective (cf. 2.3.3.2).is made up of three simple aspects: the 
RELATIONAL, along with the intentional and the anticipative. As with the 
backgrounder, the simple aspects combining together here are connected to 
each other by the RELATIONAL, 'ti'. It coordinates the relationship among all 
three aspects, a relationship that establishes the very definition of the 
expective~if it is completive and relational, then it can be expected, though 
related to other elements in the sentence. The examples below will illustrate 
how this operates in the sentence, 



75 

(89) Emi yio ti maa we ki e to de Qhun. 
IpS INT +RELAT +ANTI bathe before 2pP PART arrive there 
'I surely will have started bathing before you get there.' 

(90) Eyin yio ti maa kawe ki a to pada de. 
2pP INT+ RELAT +ANTI read before lpP PART return 
'You definitely will have begun reading before we return.' 

Once again, we see in the above examples all of the common elements we 
found in the backgrounder: ki' and 't6', and both of them playing important 
roles in the two clauses that make up the sentences. Again, the relationship 
between the main and subordinate clauses is signaled in the main clause by 
'ti', the relational aspect marker and established firmly by the preposition, 
'ki' in the subordinate clause. 

2.3.3.8.1.3 The Manifestive: RELATIONAL + Anticipative 

Third in the series of complex aspects incorporating the relational is 
the manifestive (cf. 2.3.3.4) which combines the RELATIONAL and the 
anticipative aspects. Examples (91-92) reveal the internal workings of this 
complex aspect. Here, as in the two aspects treated above, it is the relational 'ti' 
which establishes the foundation of the relationship between the two clauses 
that make up the manifestive. The preposition 'ki' in the subordinate clause 
only serves to strengthen this bond already signaled by 'ti' in the main clause. 

(91) Won ti maa sise lo ki a to de Eko. 
2pP RELAT +ANTI work go before lpP PART reach Lagos 
'They will be busy at work by the time we get to Lagos.' 

(92) Wqh ti maa mura Jowo ki a to dele. 

2pP £ELAI+ANTI get ready before lpP PART reach+home 
'They will be busy getting ready before we get home.' 



2.3.3.8.1.4 Antecedent Completion : RELATIONA L + Anticipative + Incomnletive 



76 



Next in the series of complex aspects involving the relational is the 
Antecedent Completion (cf. 2.3.3.5), which combines three simple aspects in its 
formation: the RELATIONAL 'ti\ the anticipative 'maa' and the incompletive 
'n\ It is, in essence, an addition of a sense of "incompleteness" to the 
manifestive aspect already discussed in 2.3.3.8.3. As with the other aspects 
incorporating the relational, it is 'ti' that establishes the bond between the 
anticipative and the incompletive, with, of course, additional emphasis 
provided by 'kf and 'to'. The latter pair confirm the relationship already 
signaled by 'ti' in the main clause. Examples (93-94) provide a sense of this 
complex dynamics. 

(93) A ti maa h we tan ki o to ji. 
lpP RELAT +ANTI+INCOM bathe finish before 2pS PART wake 
'We used to have finished bathing before you woke up.' 

(94) Mo ti maa ri ji ki o to sun. 
IpS RELAT +ANTI+INCOM wake before 2pS PART sleep 
'I used to be awake before you went to sleep.' 

2.3.3.8.1.5 The Relevant-Incentive: RELATIONAL + Incompletive 

Last in the series of the complex aspects involving the relational aspect 
is the relevant-inceptive, which combines two simple aspects: the RELATIONAL 
'ti' and the incompletive 'n'. It is similar, in many ways, to the antecedent 
completion (cf. 2.3.3.5 & 2.3.3.8.4), except for the absence of the anticipative 
'maa'. In fact, the main difference between the two is that in the antecedent 
completion aspect, the event in the main clause is terminated before the one 
in the subordinate clause, in the relevant-inceptive, the the activity described 
in the main clause is ongoing before and during the second activity in the 
subordinate intervenes. 

(95) Mo ti n jeun ki e to wole. 
IpS E£LAI+INCOM eat before 2pP PART enter 
T have/had begun eating before you came in.' 



77 



(96) E ti ri jo ki a to ri yin. 

2pP RELAT +INCOM go before lpP PART see 2pPOBJ 
'You have/had started dancing before we saw you.' 

In both of examples (95) and (96), 'ti n' frames the key clause, which 
serves as a frame around which the subordinate clause occurs. Thus the 
activity in the main clause begins prior to the one in the subordinate clause 
and continues after the interruption. The subordinate clause is introduced in 
syntax by the preposition 'ki', though already signaled in the main clause by 
the relational 'ti'. 

Thus, we see that in all the five complex aspects involving complex 
sentences, the RELATIONAL aspect is pivotal in the dynamics of these aspects. 
It is the relational that signals, right from the main clause, that a relationship 
is to be expected among the different clauses that will make up the entire 
sentence. Other elements, such as the preposition 'ki' (before) and the verbal 
particle 'to' (be sufficient, be enough, be adequate, attain limit, etc.) are 
introduced later on, in the subordinate clause, to reinforce and emphasize this 
relationship. The relational is therefore central to the formation of the 
complex aspects and complex sentences. 

Another observation worth making at this juncture is that although the 
relational occurs in complex sentences, it can also occur alone (as one of the 
simple aspects), but even when it occurs alone, it still bears relationship to 
some other event at the moment of utterance, such as we see in section 2.3.2.3 
examples (51-53) above, and 2.4.3 example (96) below, illustrating the 
relational aspect. 



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2.3.3.8.2 Complex Aspects not Involving the Relational Aspect 

There are two complex aspects that do not involve the relational aspect, 
at least not directly. Although they are found primarily in simple sentence 
structures (97-98 & 99b-100), they are also attested in the habitual complex 
aspect when it involves an activity that was undertaken with regularity over a 
period of time prior to the moment of speech (99a). This group of complex 
aspects comprises the INCEPTIVE 'yio maa' and the HABITUAL 'maa n\ As with 
the ones that have the relational in common (cf. 2.3.3.8.1 above), this category 
of complex aspects also have one simple aspect in common: the ANTICIPATIVE 
'maa', which suggests that anticipation is a common element in both of these 
complex aspects. Also 'yio' and 'maa' make up the irrealis aspects. The former 
is the irrealis completive and the latter the irrealis incompletive (cf. 2.3.2.4). 
Thus both are related, by virtue of belonging to the same sub-category: the 
irrealis. 

2.3.3.8. 2.1 The Incentive: Intenti onal + Anticinative 

The inceptive (cf. 2.3.3.3. for a more detailed discussion) is a complex of 
two simple aspects: the intentional 'yio' and the ANTICIPATIVE 'maa'. This 
aspect describes an event or activity that is yet to occur but is anticipated. The 
speaker has decided, by a force of the will, to embark upon it. 

(97) Emi yio maa Jo He. 
IpS INTEN + ANTI go home 

'I intend to leave for/start going home.' 

(98) Emi yio maa ba is$ lo. 
IpS INTEN + ANTI with work go 

T intend to/will get back to work (and keep it going).' 

The two examples above capture a scenario in which the speaker has 
made up her mind to embark on the activities mentioned in each sentence: 



79 



"leaving" in (97) and "working" in (98), respectively. The activities have not 
yet taken place but have been willed to take place shortly. There is therefore a 
sense of anticipation involved. 

2.3.3.8.2.2 The Habitual: Anticipativ p + Tnromnletive 

The habitual aspect is created by a combination of two simple aspects: 
the ANTICIPATIVE 'maa' and the incompletive 'n'. It refers to an activity that 
was habitually undertaken prior to the moment of speech (99a) or is still being 
undertaken up to and beyond the moment of speech (99b). In some way, this 
latter sense could have an eternal meaning, such as the sun rising in the east, 
as in example (100). It goes without saying that if something is habitual, then 
it can reasonably be anticipated. 

(99a) Mo maa ri jo pupd nigbati mo wa m ewe. 
IpS ANTI + INCOM dance plenty when IpS exist PREP youth 
'I (used to) dance a lot when I was young.' 

(99b) Mo maa ri j$un lojoojumo. 

IpS ANTI + INCOM eat daily 
'I eat daily.' 

(100) Odrun maa ri ran m ila-odrun. 

Sun ANTI + INCOM shine PREP splitting-sun 
The sun rises (regularly, habitually) in the east.' 

Just as the relational is common to the other five series of complex 
aspects, in like manner the anticipative is common to the latter two. In the 
complex aspects not directly involving the relational, it is still a sense of 
relatedness that makes the anticipation possible when the two aspects 
combine. It is the intentionality in 2.3.3.8.2.1 that makes anticipation possible. 
Likewise in 2.3.3.8.2.2, it is the non-completion that informs the anticipation. 
Relationship is therefore a fundamental element in the chemistry that creates 
the complex aspects from otherwise independent simple aspects. This 



80 



relatedness points to a complex, internal harmony that undergirds the 
interconnectivity of the various aspectual elements. 



2.4 Aspect Markers in Context 

Having already emphasized that aspect markers can, and do, co-occur, I 
provide below a free text to illustrate how these markers interact within the 
VP as well as in the wider context of the YL sentence. 

Text A below is an example of aspect markers in context. It is a text that I 
generated by myself, from my native speaker's intuition. A free translation is 
also provided below it. It is to be noted that in the text, aspect markers (in bold) 
always precede the verb (italicized). 

In this text, the following aspects occur: the unmarked aspect (101-103, 
104,107); the incompletive 'n', example (103/104); the relational 'ti', example 
(104); the anticipative 'maa', example (107) and the intentional aspect 'yio', 
example (108). Thus, in this short text we see all of the five simple aspects 
operating freely in discourse. 



Tex t A; 

(101) Lanaa, emi ati Ayo lo si ile awon dree wa 
Yesterday, 1 and Ayo go to house PLUR friend our 

(102) sugb6n a ko ba awon dbii won nile. 

but we NEG meet PLUR parent their LOC+home 

(103) Awon omo won ni a ba nile. Won ri 
PLUR child their is we meet at+home. They INCOM 

(104) sun lowo. Won so pe awon obii won ti lo 
sleep at+hand. They say that PLUR parent their RELA go 

(105) si Orlando lati ijeta sugbon won ko 
DIREC Orlando since day before yesterday but they NEG 

(106) ni p4 pada de. 
have late return arrive. 

(107) Won so pe 61a ni won maa pada de. 
They say that tomorrow is they ANTI return arrive. 

(108) Lenin naa won yio lo si Tampa fun ojo die. 
Afterwards they INTEN go DIREC Tampa for day few. 



81 



Free Trans lation of Text A 

'Yesterday, Ayo and I went to the house of our friends but did not meet 
their parents at home. Only the children were at home. They were 
sleeping. They told us that their parents had gone to Orlando since the 
day before yesterday but they wouldn't be long in returning. They said 
that they (the parents) would return the following day. Afterwards they 
will (intend to) go to Tampa for several days.' 

A close observation reveals that all the verb forms (in italics) remain 
unchanged, whether they are referring to activities or events that have 
already occured, as in examples (101) to (106), are yet to occur, as in (107) and 
(108), or are still in progress, as in (103/104). The aspect markers (in bolds) 
preceding the verbs simply describe different stages in the performance of 
the various activities. 

2.4.1 Completive Aspect (Unmarked) 

The completive aspect appears five times in the text, and every time it 
appears it has to do with completed actions. In all instances of its appearance 
the activity has both begun and has ceased to continue before the moment of 
speech. 

2 A, I IncQmptetive Aspect 'n' 

The incompletive appears only once in the text, (103/104). It refers to 

an activity that began sometime before the speaker and his companion appear 

on the scene and is still in progress when they arrive at the home of their 

friends. The children of the friends were still sleeping when the visitors 

arrived and interrupted their sleep. It is important to note here that it is only 

through context that we know that the activity took place sometime in the past. 

(109) Won ri sun 1qw$. 
3pP INCOM sleep at hand 
'They were/ are busy sleeping. 1 



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2.4.3 Relational 'ti' 

The relational also appears only once in the text, in example (104). Here, 
it refers to an activity that had taken place relative to the moment of speech: 
the parents had already left for Orlando before the arrival of the guests. 

(110) Won so pe awon obti won ti lo si Orlando... 
3pPS say that PLUR parent 3pPO RELAT go to Orlando... 
'They said that their parents had gone to Orlando...' 

2.4.4 Anticipative 'maa' 

The anticipative likewise appears just once in the text, in example (107). 
Here, the kids tell their visitors that their (the kids') parents should return the 
following day. The anticipative is used here because the children have no 
control over when their parents will return. They can therefore not say so 
with absolute certainty, for they could decide to return earlier than planned, 
or even much later. 

(111) Won so pe qla ni wqn maa pada de. 
3pPS say that tomorrow is 3pPO ANTI return arrive 
'They said that they (the parents) would return tomorrow.' 

2.4.5 Intentional 'vio' 

The intentional also appears once, in example (108). Here the children 
use the intentional-as opposed to the anticipative, as is the case in (107). They 
know with some degree of certainty that their parents, upon return from 
Orlando, will be heading for Tampa. Most likely, the kids know that their 
parents had purchased another ticket for Tampa for the day in question, 
probably a non-refundable ticket. It is the parents' will that is involved here. 
They must have made up their minds about going to Tampa on the said date so 
as not to lose their ticket money. Probably the parents had told the kids, "We're 
going to Orlando and will be back at the latest on such a date so we could catch 



83 



the flight for Tampa on such and such a date." Thus, although the day of the 
parents' return from Orlando may not be hundred percent certain, it is 
however their intention to make another trip to Tampa upon their return. It is 
a decision they had taken before leaving for Orlando. 



(112) Lghinaa won yio lo si Tampa fun ojo diig. 
Afterwards 3pPS INTEN go to Tampa for day few 
'Afterwards they will/intend to go to Tampa for a while.' 



In order to capture a few more aspect markers, especially those that do 
not occur in Text A, I provide yet another personally generated text below 
(Text B). In this text, we observe some more complex aspects, in context. 



Text B; 

(113) Emi ati Funmi yio Iq si Naijiriya ninu osu 

I and Funmi INTEN go DIREC Nigeria inside month 

(114) kefa odun yii. A tin mura sfle bayii. 
sixth year this. We RELEV-INCEP prepare down now. 

(115) A ti h ra awon ebun ti a maa fun 
We RELEV-INC buy PLUR gift that we ANTI give 

(116) awon ebi ati 6r6 nigbati a ba dele. 

PLUR. family and friend when we meet arrive+home. 

(117) Gbogbo won yio ti maa ret/ wa ki a 
All them EXPECTIVE expect us before we 

(118) rd dele. Gbogbo igba ti a ba Iq 
reach arrive+home. All time that we meet go 

(119) ile ni a maa ri ra ebun lowo. 
home is we HABITUAL buy gift in hand 



Free Translation of Passage B 

'Funmi and I will (be) go(ing) to Nigeria this June. We are busy making 
preparations right now. We've started buying gifts that we will give to 
family and friends when we arrive home. Everyone will be expecting us 
by the time we get home. Every time we go home we always take gifts 
along.' 



In line (113), we have a simple aspect 'yio' preceding the verb 'lo'. In 
lines (114) and (115), however, we have examples of the relevant-inceptive 
aspect 'ti n, a complex aspect involving the combination of the relational 'ti' 



84 



and the incompletive 'n'. In line (117) we have an example of the expective 
'yio ti maa', a combination of the intentional 'yio', the incompletive 'ti' and 
the anticipative 'maa'. This is an example of three simple aspects co-occuring 
to derive a complex aspect. In line (119) the suppositional 'maa' and the 
incompletive 'n' combine to derive the habitual complex aspect, 'maa n\ 

2.4.6 Relevant-Inceptive 'ti h ' 

The relevant-inceptive aspect occurs twice in text B, lines (114) and 
(115). In both instances of its occurence, it refers to an action that has begun 
and still is in progress. 

(120) A ti n mura sfl$ bayii. 
lpP RELEV-INCEP prepare down now 

'We are getting ready/getting prepared now.' 

(121) A ti n ra awon qbixn... 
lpP RELEV-INCEP buy PLURAL gift 
'We have been (busy) buying gifts...' 

2.4.7 Exoective 'vi6 ti maa' 

The expective occurs in line (117) in the text. It is practically self- 
defining in the context in which it appears, as it is immediately followed by 
the verb 'retf (expect). It describes the state of mind of the people looking 
forward to the arrival of the speaker and to the gifts that they will receive. 
They are expectant. 

(122) Gbogbo wqii yid ti maa reti wa... 
All 3pP EXPECTIVE expect lpP 
'They will all be expecting us...' 

2.4.8 Habitual 'maa ri' 

The habitual occurs in line (119). In that context, it describes an activity 
that takes place all the time. There is therefore a timelessness to it. It describes 



85 



an activity that the speaker performs all the time. It has already taken place in 
the past, it still goes on in the present and is expected to continue in the 
future. The speaker and his wife are in the habit of buying gifts along for 
people whenever they travel home. 

(123) A maa n ra dbim lowo. 

lpP HABITUAL buy gift in hand 
'We buy gifts to take along.' 

A good grasp on the nature and the internal workings of these YL 
aspect markers is very crucial to the understanding and appreciation of 
Tutuola's language and Yoruba English in general, including most of what we 
encounter in the grammar of Nigerian English (NE). My next chapter shall 
focus on specific data from the works of Amos Tutuola to see how these aspect 
markers from YL have been transferred into this variety of NE. 

2.5 Temporal Relations In Yoruba 
It is a known linguistic fact that every language has a means of 
expressing time, if and when there is a need to do so. Although it is aspect that 
is obligatorily marked in YL (and not tense), the language does have a 
syntactic way of marking time, when such information is needed and is 
necessary. This is done largely by the use of adverbial expressions of time 
such as 'bayii' (right now), 'lowo' (at hand/at moment), 'lanaa' (yesterday), 
'161a' (tomorrow) 'laaard yii' (this morning), 'lal£ ana' (last night), 'laipe' 
(soon), 'nigba kan ri' (sometime ago), 'laye atijo' (long time ago/in years gone 
by), etc. These adverbials are the principal means by which time may be 
marked in the grammar. Some of them are more time-specific (cf. 124-129) 
while others are more general in nature (130-132). These adverbs of time are 
normally placed postverbally. However, they could be placed preverbally, 



86 



when they are deliberately focused for emphasis in a sentence and, though 
the language does permit this syntactic fronting, generally it sounds awkward. 
The examples below will elucidate my point. 



(124) Nibo ni o n lo BAYII? 
Where is you INCOMP go now? 
'Where ARE you going now/ at moment?' 

(125) Nibo ni o ri lo LANAA? 
Where is you INCOMP go yesterday? 
'Where WERE you going yesterday?' 

(126) Mo ri jeun LOWOt 

I INCOMP eat at hand/this moment 

'I AM busy eating/I am eating at moment.' 

(127) Mo ri jeun NIJETA 

I INCOMP eat day before yesterday 

'I WAS eating day before yesterday.' 



In examples (124) and (125) above, the only indicators of time are the 
adverbs 'bayii' (now) and 'lanaa' (yesterday). The former adds the notion of 
present while the latter gives it a past interpretation. Otherwise the two 
expressions are devoid of any specific notion of time. The same is applicable to 
(126) and (127). In (126), 'lowo' (at the moment/hand) gives it a present time 
frame while 'nijeta' (day before yesterday) gives example (127) a past frame of 
time. In the absence of 'nijeta' in (127), the sentence could also have a present 
interpretation. 



(128) Mo ri Kikj BAYII. 
I see Kike now. 

'I (can) SEE Kike (right) now/ this moment.' 

(129) Mo ri Kik$ LAAARO YII. 
I see Kike morning this. 
'I SAW Kike this morning.' 



Likewise in (128) and (129), it is 'bayii' (now) and 'laaard yii' (this 
morning) that help us fix the two similar expressions in time. In all of the 



87 



above given examples, the time adverbials refer to a more specific frame of 
time in which an action or an event took place. In (130-132), examples are 
provided of some less time-specific adverbials. 

(130) Mo maa lo sibi-i$$ LAIPE. 
IpS ANTI go to+workplace soon 

'I will be going to work soon/I am looking forward to going to 
work soon/I anticipate to be at work soon.' 

(131) A ti pade re NIGBA KAN RI. 
lpP RELAT meet 2pS some time ago 

'We have met her/him sometime ago/We've met before.' 

(132) Awon baba wa jagun LAYEATUQ. 
PLURAL father lpPOBJ fought in+world+of old 

'Our (fore)fathers fought wars in days gone by/in time of old.' 

In (130) the time reference is indicated by the use of the time adverb, 
'laipe' (soon), which also places the expression in the future. In (131), the 
only element of time is introduced by the use of the adverb 'nigbakanri' (some 
time ago). Similarly, in (132), it is the adverb 'laye atij6' (in the olden days) 
that provides a time frame to the sentence. 

Bolorunduro attempted to classify these adverbs of time into two main 
categories-specific and general-but appears to have jumbled them together. 
For instance he classified 'losoosan' (every afternoon/in the afternoons) and 
'16joojum6' (daily/everyday) under "Specific Time Adverbial" while, for 
reasons best known only to him, 'lalaale' (every night/nightly) was classified 
under "General Time Adverbial" (p. 25). Apart from such minor problems as 
discussed above, I think the categorization of the time adverbials into general 
and specific is largely accurate and does have some merit. 

It is evident from the above examples that although tense is not 
morphologically marked on YL verbs, the language does have its own way of 
indicating time relations, if and when it is important to do so. 



CHAPTER 3 
ASPECT IN NIGERIAN ENGLISH 

The treatment of tense and aspect in NE is one of the most interesting 
aspects of EL usage. As has been mentioned in the previous chapter, YL is 
largely an aspectual language while EL is primarily a tensed one. In fact, the 
place of tense is so strong in EL that aspect is often treated as tense. A good 
example of this is the so-called Perfect Tenses, which are apparently aspectual 
in nature. Take the following EL sentences for instance, 

(1) I ate. (Past Simple Tense) 

(2) I have eaten. ("Present Perfect Tense") 

Example (1) above deals with an activity that took place in the past: the 
act of eating took place at some point in the past and is completed. In example 
(2), however, we are not as much concerned with the time of the performance 
of the activity as with its internal state, i.e. the completion of the act of eating, 
relative to the moment of speech. It is clear from example (2) that what we are 
dealing with here is aspect rather than tense. However, most English grammar 
books refer to it as tense. It is this kind of grammatical analysis that has been 
carried over into YL by grammarians, who have mostly been trained in the 
United Kingdom. The effect of this training often shows itself in 
descriptions of YL made from an EL perspective. For instance, Bamgbose (1967: 
26) classifies examples (3-4) below as "Continuous Tense", (5-6) as "Habitual 
Tense" and (7-8) as "Future Tense", although these can more appropriately be 
seen as examples of aspect. In fact, the terms "continuous" and "habitual" 



88 



89 



themselves betray them as aspects and not tenses, especially since these are 
generally used in the literature to describe aspect markers. 



(3) A nsise 'We are working'. 

(4) Nwon tie nkorin daadaa 'They are even singing well'. 

(5) A maa nkorin 'We usually sing'. 

(6) Emi maa nlo soko T usually go to the farm'. 

(7) Awa yo. mo 'We will know'. 

(8) Ojo ma ro 'It's going to rain'. 



A more accurate classification of the above should have been as follows: 
(3-4) as Incompletive ASPECT, (5-6) as Habitual ASPECT, (7) as Intentional 
ASPECT and (8) as Anticipative ASPECT. A reanalysis of the above sentences is 
provided in (9-14) below. It is also interesting to note that Bamgbose had 
attached most of these aspect markers to the verbs, as though they were 
affixes, so they could agree with EL morphologically based tense analysis. He 
also split some aspect markers (e.g. the HABITUAL 'maa n' in (5-6)), using the 
first one 'maa' as a clitic and the second 'n' as an affix, thus creating quite 
some confusion. In my analysis, both aspect markers are treated as one unit of 
a complex aspect form (cf. chapter 2, section 2.3.3.7). A reanalysis of 
Bamgbose's examples (3-8) above appear as (9-14) below, 



(9) A ri ? ise. 
lpP INCOMPLETIVE work 
'We are working/were working.' 

(10) Wqzi ti$ n korin daadaa. 
3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well 
'They are even singing/were even singing well.' 

(11) A maa ri korin. 
lpP HABITUAL sing 

'We usually sing/usually sang.' 

(12) Emi maa ri lo soko. 

IpSEmp HABITUAL go DIRECTIONAL+farm 
T (for sure) usually go/ususally went to the farm.' 



90 



(13) Awa yio m.Q. 
lpPEmp INTENTIONAL know 

'We definitely intend to know/We definitely will know.' 

(14) Ojdo maa rp. 
Rain ANTICIPATE fall 
'We anticipate rain to/will fall.' 

The above reanalysis raises a few questions that must be answered. First, 
what Bamgbose had analysed as three "tenses" (Continuous, Habitual and 
Future) are actually four separate aspects (INCOMPLETIVE, HABITUAL, 
INTENTIONAL and ANTICIPATE). Bamgbose calls the HABITUAL a "tense", 
however, within the structure of YL it is an ASPECT. Also, what he calls the 
"future tense" (7-8) is a result of reliance on a long tradition of translation 
instead of looking at the structure of the language itself. Properly analyzed, 
Bamgbose's "future" becomes two separate and different aspects ~ the 
INTENTIONAL (7) and the ANTICIPATE (8). Actually, both the INTENTIONAL 
and ANTICIPATE are two forms of the IRREALIS group of aspects, the former 
having a completive and the latter an incompletive sense. 'Yio' in example 
(13) is the irrealis counterpart of the completive (unmarked) aspect. As has 
been amply explained in chapter two, sections 2.3.2.4 and 2.3.2.5, the 
intentional 'yi6' is structurally different from the anticipative 'maa'. Whereas 
the anticipative takes a regular pronoun, the intentional occurs principally 
with an emphatic pronoun. For instance, while (15) below is grammatical, ( 16) 
is not. However, both (17) and (18) are allowed. Thus, the intentional is more 
restrictive in its usage than the anticipative. 

(15) Emi yid 1q. 
IpSEmp INTEN go 

'I will go/ I intend to go.' 

(16) *Mo yid lo. 
IpS INTEN go 



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(17) Mo maa lo. 
IpS ANTI go 

'I will go/ I anticipate going. 

(18) Emi maa lo. 
IpSEmp ANTI go 
'I definitely will/intend to go' 

Secondly, the fact that the denomination "tense" is inaccurate is clear 
from the fact that what Bamgbose calls the "Continuous Tense" (3-4) and 
"Habitual Tense" (5-6) could be interpreted as having already taken place in 
the past or are taking place in the present, depending on the context, as is 
clearly evident in the reanalysis in examples (9-10) and (11-12) respectively, 
or by a simple addition of time adverbs, as in examples (19-26) below. Thus, it is 
misleading to refer to them as tense, especially since one tense can refer only 
to one possible time-past, present or future~and not two time frames 
simultaneously, as Bamgbose's analysis suggests. 

Examples of Incompletive as a Prps ent (/ri7 + A6wn/) 

(19) A ri fffg LOWD. 
lpP INCOMPLETIVE work now 
'We are busy working (right now).' 

Examples of Incomnletive as a Past (/ri/ + /lanaa/1 

(20) A ri tftf LANAA. 
lpP INCOMPLETIVE work yesterday 
'We were working yesterday.' 

Examples of Incompletive as a Pres pnt (/ri/ + A6wn/) 



(21) Won ti£ ri korin daadaa LOWD. 

3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well now 
'They are even singing well (this very moment).' 



92 



Examples of Incompletive as a Past (/ri/ + /lanaa/) 

(22) Won ti$ n korin daadaa LANAA. 

3pP even INCOMPLETIVE sing well yesterday 
'They were even singing well yesterday.' 

In the examples above, the notion of time is not conveyed by the aspect 
marker 'n', but rather by the time adverbs, LOWO (now/at moment/at this 
time/ at hand) and LANAA (yesterday) respectively. In the absence of these 
adverbs of time, each of the sentences could be rendered either in the present 
or in the past, leaving us with context only to decipher their location in time, 
if we must indicate time. Thus, sentence (19), without the adverb 'LOWO" could 
be translated as either 'We ARE working' or 'We WERE working' and (21) 
without the adverb 'LANAA' could mean either 'They ARE even singing well' 
or 'They WERE even singing well.' The concept of time, therefore, is 
introduced only with the addition of the time adverbs 'LOWO,' in (19) and (21) 
and 'LANAA' in (20) and (22) respectively. 

Habitual + Adverb of Time 

(23) A maa h korin lojoojumo. 
lpP HABITUAL sing daily 

'We sing everyday.' 

(24) A ma a n korin nigbati a je ewe. 
lpP HABITUAL sing when lpP be youth 
'We used to sing when we were young.' 

(25) Emi ma a h lo soko lojoojumo. 
IpSEmp HABITUAL go to+farm daily 

T do go to the farm everyday.' 

(26) Emi maa n lo soko nigbakan ri. 
IpSEmp HABITUAL go to+farm sometime ago 
T used to go to the farm sometime ago (in the past).' 

The analysis for (19-22) is equally valid for (23-26). In (23) and (25), it is 
the time adverb 'LOJOOJUMO' (daily, everyday) that conveys a sense of time 



93 



while in (24) and (26) it is the adverbial phrases 'NIGBATI A JE EWE' and 
'NIGBAKAN RP respectively. In the absence of these subordinate clauses of 
time, all four sentences could have either a present or a past interpretation. 

NE speakers often use aspect markers where a British or American 
speaker of English would use tense. The works of Amos Tutuola are replete with 
such transfers and a knowledge of this difference is crucial to understanding 
the languge and works of Tutuola and many other YL speakers of English. The 
rest of this chapter will be devoted to this aspect transfer. 

3,1 Amos Tutuola; the Man 

Amos Tutuola was born in 1920 in Abeokuta, a city about 64 miles from 
Lagos, the commercial capital (and for many decades the political capital) of 
Nigeria and passed on to the "Deads' Town" (to use his own terminology) on 
Saturday, June 7, 1997, having lived a long, fruitful and often controversial 
life. He was 77 when he died quietly at his home in Odd-Ona, in the surburbs of 
Ibadan, another major Yoruba city, next only to Lagos in demographic 
importance. In spite of his international popularity, he died unsung at home, 
in obscurity and almost destitute. 

Here is what Oyekan Owomoyela had to say in his full-length book on 
Amos Tutuola, 

He died as he had lived, amid uncertainties, contradictions, and 
controversy. The causes and circumstances of his death reflect a major 
contradiction in his life and career. Diabetes and hypertension, the 
conditions to which he succumbed, need not prove fatal to a patient able 
to afford proper medical care; unfortunately Tutuola was not, for despite 
his literary success and international fame, at the time of his death, he 
was destitute. In the view of many who mourned him, ... he got far less 
from life and much less from hi s society than he deserved . ... His virtual 
local anonymity in his last days, despite his international fame, is also 
something of a contradiction. (Owomoyela, 1999: 146, my emphasis). 



94 



Abeokuta (meaning "beneath the stone/rock" in Yoruba), Tutuola's 
birth place and hometown, is one of the major cities of the Yoruba, located in 
the rain-forest region of south-western Nigeria, a geographical location that 
would later inform, shape and influence his writings. The spiritual 
atmosphere of Abeokuta and its environs during Tutuola's growing years was 
that of a syncretism birthed by the presence of a strong Yoruba traditional 
belief and value systems and a heavy Christian missionary activity, mostly by 
the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S). 

Tutuola hailed from an honorable and respectable background. 
According to Michael Thelwell in his informative introduction to The Palm- 
Wine Drinkard, Tutuola's grandfather, the Odafin Odegbami, was a well 
respected administrative ruler among his people, being one of the sub-chiefs 
and spiritual leaders of Abeokuta. He had six wives and more than twenty 
children. As a spiritual leader of his people, he was a practitioner of one the 
African traditional religions-Ogun. In fact, his name, "Odegbami" itself 
means 'the deity Ogun saves', or' accepts me'. Ogun is the Yoruba patron deity 
of hunters, smiths and warriors; the god of iron, fire, technological knowhow 
and political authority. 

Amos Tutuola's father, Charles Tutuola Odegbami, had three wives and 
several children. Although his parents were firm believers in Yoruba 
traditions and values, they had converted to Christianity as a result of strong 
missionary activitity in Abeokuta area during most of the nineteenth and the 
early twentieth centuries. Thus, Tutuola was born into an extended family in 
which Yoruba traditional religion was practised side by side with European- 
introduced Christianity, a background that would forever influence his 
outlook, life and works. Although Tutuola's grandparents practised indigenous 
Yoruba religion, his parents were firm believers in the Christian religion. 



95 



Tutuola has been quoted as saying that "I met my father and mother as 
Christians" (Tutuola 1984: 182). Thelwell believes that it is this conflicting 
religious background that must have influenced Tutuola's decision to change 
his name from Olatubdsun (his given name, meaning "wealth or honor is still 
increasing") to Amos (most probably his baptismal name), a name reminiscent 
of the biblical fiery prophet of righteousness in the Jewish Old Testament. 
Changing his last name from Odegbami (his family name, bearing loyalty to 
the deity, Ogun) to Tutuola, his father's given name (meaning "fresh wealth", 
and with no religious connotations) is reminiscent and indicative of the then 
Christian missionary practise of asking their adherents to expunge from their 
names any references or allusions to African deities. This is how Olatubdsun 
Odegbami became Amos Tutuola, the name by which Tutuola is now known and 
recognized around the world. In this name lies the history of Tutuola's 
transformation as well as an important key to understanding his works, works 
that mix Yoruba beliefs and cosmology with Christian beliefs and western 
technology and transfer underlying Yoruba linguistic structures into English 
to produce writings that appeal to both Yoruba and English speakers alike. 

As one of several children in a large family, Tutuola had a rough time 
growing up, especially with regard to his academic upbringing. As a 
struggling cocoa farmer, his father could not afford the luxury of sending him 
to school, at least not without some help from the extended family. His father's 
meagre income from cocoa farming was not sufficient to take care of his large 
family and send all the children to school. Although cocoa was a major cash 
crop, most of the profit that came from it went, unfortunately, to the colonial 
authority and the few middle men that it had created and very little to the 
hardworking farmers who owned the land and did most of the work. Thus, his 
father struggled financially and was able, with some help, only to put Tutuola 



96 



into school for a few years. His uncle, Mr. Dalley, arranged for him to live with 

his friend, Mr. F. 0. Monu, a civil servant, to earn his tuition working for the 

latter as a household servant. The young Tutuola quickly jumped at this 

opportunity and left his father to live with Monu, while working his way 

through school at the Salvation Army School, Abeokuta. He was, then, about 

12-14 when he began his formal education, but quickly proved himself to be a 

brilliant and promising student. This is what Tutuola had to say himself about 

his academic abilities and potentials, 

I started my first education at the Salvation Army School, Abeokuta, in 
the year 1934, and Mr. Monu was paying my school fees regularly, 
which were 1/6 a quarter, and also buying the school materials, etc., for 
me. But as I had the quicker brain than the other boys in our class 
(Class I infant), I was given the special promotion from Class I to Std. I at 
the end of the year... [M]y weekly report card columns were always 
marked 1st position on every week-end, which means I was the first boy 
out of 50 boys in the class throughout the year. At the end of that year I 
was in the 1st position out of 150 boys and this was the final examination 
of the year. (Tutuola, 1953: 126-127). 

Tutuola later on moved to Lagos with his employer and there enrolled at 
the Lagos High School where he continued with his education. However, due to 
the verbal and physical abuse he suffered from his master's wife (whom he 
unflatteringly referred to as a "cruel and hard-hearted woman"), he had to 
return to his native Abeokuta without completing his education. Upon his 
return home, he continued with his education at the Anglican Central School, 
Ipose Ake, also in Abeokuta. Here he remained until 1939, when his final hopes 
of completing his formal education were dashed as a result of his father's 
untimely death. He had had in all only six years of formal education. 

After an unsuccessful attempt at farming, during a drought, he 
returned to Lagos the following year, but this time, to live with one of his half- 
brothers. Back in Lagos he successfully learnt blacksmithing which landed 
him a job as a coppersmith with the West African Air Corps of the British 
Royal Air Force in 1942. In 1945, following the end of the Second World War, he 



97 



was discharged from the Royal Air Force and made an attempt to establish his 
own blacksmithing practice but failed because he did not have enough capital 
to properly establish the business. 

A year later, he wound up as a mesenger with the Department of Labour 
in Lagos. It was during his tenure here that the idea of writing his first book, 
The Palm-Wine Drinkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads' Town 
came to him. It is said that he wrote the enitre book within the space of two 
days (Africana 1999: 1905). It was his creative way of easing his boredom while 
working as a messenger, a job he would later on refer to as "this 
unsatisfactory job". Although he wrote this first full-length narrative ever to 
be written by a West-African in the English language in 1946, this pioneering 
work would not be published until in 1952--six years after it had been written. 
He married Victoria Alake in 1947, the year after completing his audacious 
book. The couple was blessed with three children during their fruitful 
marriage, which lasted half a century. Tutuola also had three other wives with 
whom he had eight more children, bringing the total number of his children 
by all four wives to eleven (West Africa 1997: 1267). 

In 1957 Tutuola secured a job as a storekeeper with the Nigerian 
Broadcasting Corporation in Lagos and was subsequently transferred to Ibadan 
where he continued with his writing career. At Ibadan, he teamed up with 
Professor Collis of the University of Ibadan to adapt his first book, PWD, for the 
stage while he worked on his fourth, The Brave African Huntress (henceforth 
BAH), published in 1958 by the same publishers, Faber and Faber, which had 
published his first three books and later would publish most of his books yet to 
be written. 



98 



3.2 Amos Tutuola: his Works 

Before Tutuola went to join his ancestors in June of 1997, he had eleven 
books to his credit: nine novels and two collection of stories, all produced 
within the span of about forty years, from 1952-1990 and published almost 
exclusively by Faber and Faber, London. Although two of these works - The 
Palm-Wine Drinkard (1952) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) -- share 
recognition as his most famous, he is best known for his first and now classic 
novel, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, now translated into almost twenty languages 
around the world, including French, German, Italian, Swedish, Romanian, 
Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian, Czech, and several other European and African 
languages (cf. Eko 1974:19; Thelwell 1984:187). His other works include Simbi 
and the Satyr of the Dark Jungle (1955), The Brave African Huntress (1958), 
Feather Woman of the Jungle (1962), Ajaiyi and His Inherited Poverty (1967), 
The Witch-Herbalist of the Remote Town (1981), The Wild Hunter in the Bush of 
Ghosts (1982), Yoruba Folktales (1986), Pauper, Brawler, and Slanderer (1987) 
and The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories (1990). 

His first two novels, and by far his most popular ~ The Palm-Wine 
Drinkard (henceforth PWD) and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (henceforth 
LBG) ~ were also adapted for the stage in Nigeria in 1958. PWD was first 
produced as a Yoruba opera in 1968 by the popular Yoruba dramatist Kola 
Ogunmola. In 1995, a stage adaptation of LBG was presented in the United 
Kingdom as Nigeria's entry play for the Africa95 international festival held in 
London that year. Several other performances of these two books have been 
made by various local operas since their first stage presentations, a testimony 
to their popularity among the masses of the people at the home front. 

Tutuola's popularity among non-elite Yoruba speakers and the 
"common Nigerian" could be attributed to the fact that his works spoke to their 



99 



hearts - they could identify with the folktales and the folklores of their 
common backgrounds. Because his works and the way he used his language 
(i.e. English) conveyed the worldview of YL speakers, it was easy for the 
common people to identify with and appreciate his works. Although he drew 
from a common pool of knowledge, he went one step further by making that 
knowledge his own first before sharing it with an international audience. 

Despite the hostile attitude towards Tutuola and his works and his 
apparent non popularity among a large segment of the Nigerian educated 
elite, an excellent proof of the general popularity of Tutuola's works and their 
influences on the Yoruba elite was Wole Soyinka's staging of the PWD in 
Yorubaland, which was followed by several other stagings of both English and 
Yoruba versions by various theater groups across West Africa, especially in 
Nigeria and Ghana in the early sixties. In fact, according to Eko (1974:20), the 
first Yoruba stage adaptation and performance of PWD by Kola Ogunmola (with 
parallel English translation) in April 1963 "was an immense success with the 
public, especially African intellectuals, and received an excellent review from 
Wole Soyinka." 

It should also be observed that Tutuola's fiction has received high praise 
from his fellow novelists. Soyinka (the internationally renowned playwright, 
author and critic and the 1986 winner of the Nobel prize in literature as well 
as the first black person to win this prestigious award) and Chinua Achebe 
(the acclaimed author of the world-famous Things Fall Apart, translated into 
some fifty languages around the world) are known to openly admire Tutuola 
and his works. Achebe is known to have referred to Tutuola as "the most 
moralistic of African writers" while Soyinka has popularized his works among 
the masses through theatrical performances. Both authors are the two most 
famous writers to come out of Nigeria, and probably Africa as a whole. 



100 



Tutuola has been unequivocally recognized as the first person to write 

any full-length narrative in English in Nigeria as well as the first West 

African writer of English expression to win considerable international 

attention. Ebele Eko has this to say about Tutuola's pioneering effort: 

Amos Tutuola was undeniably the first West African writer of English 
expression to win considerable international recognition. JJie 
publication of The Palm-Wine Drinkard in 1952 marked the beginning 
of modem Nigerian literature and apparently took the literary world by 
surprise. An important review by Dylan Thomas launched the book on 
its way to fame and the author on his way to becoming one of the most 
controversial writers of modern African literature (Eko 1974:19, 
emphasis mine). 

Bernth Lindfors, who has written a full-length Critical Perspectives on 

Amos Tutuola (1975) and has studied Tutuola and his works over several 

decades, has the following observation to make with regards to the publication 

of Tutuola's pioneering work, 

Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drinkard was the first substantial 
literary work written in English by a Nigerian author, and its 
publication in 1952 created a stir. (1973: 51) 



In a posthumous eulogy recognizing Tutuola's achievements, the editor 
of West Africa magazine referred to Tutuola's first novel in the following 
terms 

Today, this book is recognised as a significant milestone — indeed, the 
first milestone - on the long road that Nigerian authors writing in 
English have travelled since that time. It was the national equivalent of 
The Canteburv Tales in Briti sh literature. Tutuola being anglophone 
Africa's aboriginal Chaucer (1997: 1268, my emphasis). 

Tutuola, then, has been given credit for opening up the new field of 

modern African literature in English for Achebe, Soyinka and the other 

Nigerian writers who followed. It should be acknowledged, however, that 

although Tutuola pioneered creative writing in English, he himself was 

following in the footsteps of another compatriot and kinsman, Daniel O. 

Fagunwa, who was actually the first person to codify Yoruba folktales in 



101 



creative written form, the only difference being that he chose to write in 
Yoruba rather than in English. Just as Tutuola was influenced by his 
predecessor, Fagunwa, so also has Tutuola influenced Wole Soyinka. These 
three are inseparably linked to each other and are recognized as the three 
most outstanding Yoruba writers, all three drawing from the same sources -- 
their common background in a rich and vibrant tradition of storytelling and 
Yoruba folklore. 

Tutuola built his literary career primarily by the creative retelling and 

expansion of Yoruba folktales, stories that not only he, but all other Yoruba 

children like him have heard recited again and again by adults under the 

bright moon-lit African sky. They are stories that have been told and retold, 

from one generation to another over the millenia. All of his eleven books draw 

from these common sources. Throughout his life, Tutuola's goal was to 

preserve Yoruba culture by codifying his people's folklore; his choice of 

language was English, but his was a modified English, an English that could 

convey adequately the culture he was trying to preserve without doing much 

damage to its originality and intensity, an English made to serve his people, an 

English created in the image and likeness of his people and their language. 

Here, in his own words, is the reason Tutuola decided to put down into writing 

the folklore of his people and the reason he wrote the way he did, 

I don't want the past to die. I don't want our culture to vanish. It's not 
good. We are losing [our customs and traditions] now, but I'm still trying 
to bring them into memory. So far as I don't want our culture to fade 
away, I don't mind about English grammar ... I should feel free to write 
my story. I have not given my manuscript to any one who knows 
grammar to edit. (West Africa, 11-17 August, 1997: 1299) 

What Tutuola was saying in essence is this: I will not be bogged down by trying 

to write English like an American or a British. I am going to domesticate the 

English language to serve my own ends. I am going to let it "bear the burden" 

of my experience. I am a man with a message and a mission and I shall not be 



102 



distracted by elitist critics. I will use the English language as an instrument to 

convey my mission to the next generation. I am trying to preserve the culture 

and customs of my people before it dies away. About a decade later, Chinua 

Achebe would capture the spirit of what Tutuola was doing with his English in 

the following often quoted response to those who feel that Africans must speak 

English like the British 

So my answer to the question, Can an African ever learn English well 
enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing? is certainly 
yes. If on the other hand you ask: Can he ever learn to use it like a 
native speaker? I should say, I hope not. It is neither necessary nor 
desirable for him to be able to do so. The price a world language must be 
prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use. JJie 
Afriran writer should aim to use English in a wav that brines out his 
message best without altering the language to the extent that its value 
as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at 
fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry 
his peculiar exnerience .-Tt will have to be a new English still in full 
communion with its ancestral home, but altered to suit its new African 
surroundings (1965: 29-30, all emphases mine). 



But almost a decade before Tutuola's novel came on the scene, another 

writer from far away India had already shared similar convictions in another 

well-known and often cited quotation 

We cannot write like th e English. We should not. We cannot write only 
as Indians. We have grown to look at the large world around us as part 
of us. Our method of expression therefore has to be a dialect which will 
some day prove to be as distinctive and colorful as the Irish and the 
American. Time alone will justify it (Rao 1943: viii, my emphasis) 

The existence of different varieties of EL is now a well established fact. 
Much has been written on Indian, South African, Liberian, Nigerian, 
Ghanaian, Cameroonian and other Englishes around the world. In fact, 
American English itself is a variety or dialect of English, with its own 
idiosyncracies that set it apart from the British or any other variety of EL. 

What both Achebe and Rao said above is exactly what Tutuola has done, 
and this he has done well. Proof of his success is to be found in the effusive 



103 



praise and adulation showered upon him in numerous posthumous tributes in 
the Nigerian press after his passing away. One writer refered to him as 
"Nigeria's Nobel Literature Laureate who never won" ( West Africa 1997: 1266). 
Another described him as "an honored ancestor, an inspirational father 
figure to a whole generation of younger writers" (ibid.). Another tribute 
writer in the same article quoted above put it so well in one single but 
powerful sentence: "Tutuola may have died, but what he left to the world lives 
on" (p. 1267). In other words, Tutuola has left a lasting legacy to generations 
yet unborn. 

When the London firm, Faber and Faber, published his first novel, The 
Palm-Wine Drinkard, on May 2, 1952, it became an instant success, mostly due 
to a positive review by Dylan Thomas in The London Observer of July 6, 1952. 
Other rave reviews of the book followed, especially after the American edition 
of PWD appeared the following year, issued by Grove Press. The seriousness 
with which the American audience took his work could be seen in the many 
reviews that it enjoyed in leading newspapers and magazines across the 
country. According to Ebele Eko, within three years of its publication, PWD was 
translated into four other European languages: French, German, Italian and 
Serbo-Croatian. (1974:19) 

While Tutuola enjoyed mostly favorable reviews in Europe and America, 
the story was quite different at home; he was booed and jeered at by the 
Nigerian educated elite, who felt he had disgraced them because of the 
"unconventional" way in which he wrote his English. They were afraid 
Europeans would label them incompetent to acquire the "glorious" English 
language. They felt he was an anomaly and a disgrace because he had not 
followed strictly the rules of the "Queen's English." In short, they got stuck on 
his language and forgot to look at his message. Although many well-known 



104 



writers and critics, such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, 

Harold Collins, Bernth Lindfors, to mention just a few, have come to appreciate 

and to positively appraise Tutuola's works and worth, there are still a few, 

mostiy Nigerian, who feel Tutuola is not deserving of all the attention he is 

being accorded (cf. Owomoyela 1999). In the midst of all this, however, Tutuola 

is being discovered by others in other realms where his name had been 

hitherto practically unknown. He is now receiving honorable mention in 

science fiction circles (Hardman 1999: Personal communication). This is 

because the dividing line between science fiction and fantasy (SF & F) is 

sometimes very blurred and thin, and Tutuola's works are rich in the fantastic. 

It is therefore no surprise that SF & F is now claiming him as one of their own. 

This, definitely, will further expand the support base for Tutuola's works and 

increase his recognition around the world. 

Furthermore, Tutuola's works and name also figure prominentiy on the 

world-wide web, especially on Amazon-dot-com, the commercial internet site 

that has become very popular in the book sales world. The public reviews of 

his works on this web site have been consistently very positive, as most 

reviewers have given his works five star ratings— the highest in that rating 

system. One internet reviewer and admirer had this to say about Tutuola and 

his use of the English language 

Amos Tutuola is one of the handful of master stylists in the English of 
the 20th century ... Tutuola is, in fact, a stylist and not, as it once seemed 
possible, a naive product of an unusual and scanty education in English 
in Nigeria. The compelling factor in his stvl e is his rhvthm. presumably 
related to his mother tongue of Yoruba. It has so mething of the cyclical 
nature of extended drumming . (Harry Eager, Amazon.com, Inc.: 1998, 
my emphasis). 

Another internet reviewer called Tutuola " The voice of the Yoruba 
C£Qpi£...when he died he was one of the most appreciated authors of the 



105 



African continent." (Martin Eriksson, Amazon.com., Inc.: 1997, emphasis 
mine). 

3.3 Amos Tutu ola: his Accomplishments 

While Amos Tutuola was still alive, he was showered with many honors, 

but mostly outside Nigeria. In 1979 he was appointed a writer-in-residence at 

the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife, one of the 

most prestigious universities in Nigeria, located in the heart of Yorubaland. It 

was during this tenure at my alma mater that I met him for the first time when 

he was invited by my professor to come recite folktales to my freshman 

Literature in English class. Although I was fascinated by his English back 

then, I didn't have much clue as to why he spoke the way he did. I could, 

however, identify with his stories. Tutuola's use of language-the English 

language -- was quite fascinating to me, as another Yoruba user of English, for 

it struck a chord within me, as I began to recognize underneath his English a 

lot of structures and usages that are very recognizably Yoruba. His stories are 

drawn from a commonly shared pool of Yoruba folklore, but with a personal 

touch and flavor that is distinctly his. It would take more than a decade after 

that initial encounter for me to revisit the man and his works. By this time I 

had already acquired enough linguistic tools to be able to begin to reappraise 

and appreciate his works and his then "strange" but harmonious and musical 

English. This is the English that Cyprian Ekwensi, another veteran Nigerian 

novelist, was referring to when he wrote 

Tutuola wrote music with his words. Although his medium was prose, his 
writing appeared more musical, more lvri cal and more poetic than 
many of those who actually set out to write poetry. (West Africa 1997: 
1266, my emphases). 



106 



In 1983 Tutuola received three awards: USIA International Visitor 
Program, Fellow of the Iowa Writing Workshop, and an Honorary Citizenship 
of New Orleans. The following year he received the Grimzane and Cavour Prize 
in Italy. In 1989 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Modern Language 
Association and in 1992 he was designated Noble Patron of the Arts by the Pan- 
African Writers Association, in recognition of his contribution to the African 
literary world. Three years later, in 1996, he received a Special Fellowship 
Award form the Oyo State Chapter of the National League of Veteran 
Journalists. Delivering an eulogy following his death in 1997, Cyprian Ekwensi 
recommended, among other things, that an Amos Tutuola Prize for Literature 
be established by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a well-deserving 
honor for the hardy literary pioneer. 

Throughout his life and long career, Tutuola saw himself as a folklorist 

whose life ambition was to preserve Yoruba culture. He had always been 

fascinated by the folklore of his people and spent the rest of his life trying to 

preserve this legacy for generations to come. He had spent a lot of time with 

wise elders among his people, learning from them as they told their stories of 

days gone by. This way, he himself acquired the knack for story telling. Here, 

in his own words, is how he became the good storyteller that he later became: 

[In school] we used to tell folktales to our schoolmates and teachers. 
Each time we got our holiday, I used to go to my people in the village. 
There was no radio or television, but our source of amusement was to tell 
forktales after dinner. I used to listen to old people and the folktales 
they told . Each time I returned to school, I told the story to other 
schoolmates and I became a very good storyteller. They used to give me 
presents for telling incredible folktales. ( West Africa 1997: 1268, my 
emphasis). 

A Yoruba proverb readily captures the experience Tutuola describes 
above: "Those who know how to wash their hands properly could eat with the 
elders" (i.e. if you humble yourself before the elders and conduct yourself 



107 



appropriately, you will eventually learn of their wise ways). Apparently 
Tutuola knew how to conduct himself well and was granted the honor of 
dining at the same table as the sages among his people. 

3.4 Asnect in Tutuola's Writings 
What became Tutuola's bane at the home front also became his blessing 
abroad-his use of English. The main reason he was villified and disdained by 
his detractors back home, who would not even take a serious look at his works 
was their response to the unconventional way he wrote. They felt his oral 
storytelling style would make native speakers of English in Europe and 
America look down on them as people who could not correctly acquire the 
"Queen's English." They felt his works would serve to confirm the erroneously 
held belief in some Western circles that Africans are too backward and are 
incapable of learning the noble ways of the West. That Tutuola was attracting a 
great deal of positive interest presented his critics with a serious problem. So 
great was the ripple that the publication of his pioneering work created in 
Nigeria that while he was still receiving highly positive reviews in the West, 
his fellow countrymen were writing criticisms intended to descredit the very 
authenticity and originality of his work. Instead of studying his language and 
trying to find out why he wrote the way he did, they dismissed it as the half- 
baked, uneducated babble of a childish mind. They went on to predict that the 
euphoria surrounding his works in the West would soon wane and that Tutuola 
would end up in the trash heap of history. Time, however, would prove them 
wrong, very wrong. 

A closer look at Tutuola's language reveals some fascinating and 
intriguing structures that the casual observer cannot simply discern from 
afar off. An unbiased and serious observer will, however, not go too far before 



108 



beginning to discover that there is a regularity and systematicity underlying 

the entire linguistic processes undergirding Tutuola's language. Any person 

for whom Yoruba is a first language, however, can easily identify the 

underlying structures upon which Tutuola has superimposed his English. 

Amos Tutuola has a way with language that defies the conventions of 

English grammar as set forth by the British, the introducers of this language 

on the Nigerian scene. He constantly weaves the grammar of his native 

Yoruba into that of the English of his writings and this is most obvious in the 

area of tense and aspect. Geoffrey Parrinder gives us an insight into this 

"non-conventional" use of EL in his introduction to Tutuola's second book: My 

Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1954) when he comments, 

Tutuola's writing is original and highly imaginative. His direct style, 
made more vivid by his use of Eng lish as it is spoken in West Africa, is 
not polished or sophisticated and gives his stories unusual energy. It is a 
beginning of a new type of Afro-English literature ... (p. 12, my 
emphases). 

A few decades later, a fellow Yoruba and a highly respected Professor of 
English at one of Nigeria's foremost institutions of higher learning, Adebisi 
Afolayan, would identify Tutuola's English as '"Yoruba English', a language 
possessing Yoruba deep grammar that nevertheless has many of the surface 
features of conventional English grammar." (Parckh & Jagne 1998: 473, my 
emphasis). Harold Collins who wrote the first monograph on Tutuola spoke of 
Tutuola's "imaginative use of the English language" and describes him as "A 
conscious craftsman whose unconventional English syntax, spelling and 
punctuation represent an artful technique that asssists readers in 
comprehending Tutuola's imaginary worlds where all conventional rules of 
order are suspended." (1969). 

What Afolayan and others are saying in essence is quite simple to 
understand by any Yoruba, or, for that matter, any Nigerian or West African 



109 



speaker of EL. The term "West African English" is already known and is well 
attested in the literature on New Englishes, but so is the term "Nigerian 
English" (cf. Bamgbose 1982, Ajani 1996a.) Under the umbrella of the latter, 
three main sub-varieties have been identified: Yoruba English (YE), Hausa 
English (HE) and Igbo English (IE), sub-varieties representing the three 
majority groups of Nigeria that constitute about 70% of the population. Thus, 
although there is a superordinate variety known as Nigerian English (NE), 
there are enough idiosyncracies in usage that makes the Hausa person use NE 
quite differently from say an Igbo or a Yoruba speaker of NE (cf. Odumuh 
1987). The reason for this is not far fetched: the mother tongue (LI) of each of 
the speakers of the three sub-varieties mentioned above affects the way they 
use English. These differences come, in part, from the differences that exist 
among the various Lis. For instance, the way Tutuola and Soyinka use English 
is quite different from the way Achebe uses it. It is a well known fact that 
Achebe draws a lot from his Igbo background when he writes and this is most 
obvious in his world classic Things Fall Apart (1958) in which he uses a lot of 
his native Igbo proverbs, sayings and lexical items. The same could be said of 
Soyinka and his use of Yoruba vocabulary, sayings and especially cultural and 
religious items from Yoruba traditional religion. We find a lot of these in his 
popular Collected Plays (1973). 

Of course, we do know, too, that the quality and amount of formal 
education acquired by the various speakers of the same sub-variety will also 
affect the amount of transfer from the LI into the target language. Evidence 
for this can be seen in the NE versions of Tutuola and Soyinka. Whereas it is 
much easier to identify YL substratum in Tutuola's NE, they are much more 
subtle in Soyinka's works. The reason for this is that although both Soyinka 
and Tutuola speak the same dialect of YL, they stand at different points along 



110 



the continuum of YL and NE. Whereas Soyinka had a college education and 

even lived and worked in England for a while, Tutuola's entire formal 

education lasted only six years and took place solely in Nigeria and Yorubaland 

specifically. This explains why although both authors draw heavily from their 

common backgound, Tutuola's NE is much closer to YL while Soyinka's is 

rather closer to EL. 

What I will be attempting to do here is show some of the ways that the 

grammar of Tutuola's first language reveals itself in the way he wrote in 

English. Using three of Tutuola's earliest narratives-- The Palm-Wine Drinkard 

(PWD), My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (LBG) and The Brave African Huntress 

(BAH) -I will also attempt to show that what Tutuola did with his language is 

neither strange, unusual nor unheard of. In fact, the systemacity we find in 

the whole process is proof that it is not random, but rather rule-governed. It is 

a normal occurence in any language contact situation, as many researches in 

contact linguistics and especially second language acquisition (SLA) amply 

attest. (Weinreich 1953, Nemser 1971, Selinker 1972, 1992; Corder 1978, Cook 

1993, etc.) Kirk-Greene, in his article entitled "The Influence of West African 

Languages on English" rightly observes that 

The English used in West Africa revea ls in varying degrees vernacular 
influences at the morphological, syntactic and semantic levels: as well, 
of course, as at the phonological level in spoken English. ... 
[Characteristic deviations from standard English usage may be 
ascribed to the influence exercised by a dominant West African 
language- there mav resu lt an English surface structure with a 
vernacular deep structure ...The sub-stratum syntax is there, and now 
and again it comes to the surfaceiSpencer 1971: 141,131, 133, all 
emphases mine) 

Thus Spencer and several others mentioned earlier in this section have 
correcdy pointed out certain identifying features of West African and 
Nigerian English, features at different levels of the grammar: syntactic, 
morphological and semantic; phonological, stylistic, etc. Tutuola's works are 



Ill 



replete with examples of the influence of the YL aspectual system, which shall 
be the focus of the rest of this chapter . 

The Corpus 

My corpus, gleaned from the three narratives of Tutuola just mentioned 
( The Palm-Wine Drinkard, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and The Brave 
African Huntress), contains 50 pages of data, with 200 separate entries. The 
statistical breakdown of the corpus, according to number of pages, number of 
entries and percentage of total is provided in table 3.1 below 



Ta ble 3,1 



Asnect 


Pages 


# of Entries 


% of Total 


Incompletive 


36 


144 


72 


Habitual 


10 


40 


20 


Anticipative 


2 


8 


4 


Relational 


1 


4 


2 


Relevant-Inceptive 


1 


4 


2 


TOTAL 


50 


200 


100 



An analysis of the above table shows that of a total 200 entries covering 
50 pages of data, the incompletive aspect makes up 72%, with 144 entries, 
covering 36 pages. The habitual comes next in order of significance, with 20% 
and 40 entries, spanning 10 pages of data. Next comes the anticipative, with 
only 4% of the total, having just 8 entries in 2 pages of data. Least represented 
and almost insignificant are the relational and relevant-inceptive, both of 
which make up a meager 4% of the total corpus, with 4 entries each spread 
over 1 page of data respectively. From a statistical perspective, only the 



112 



incompletive and the habitual appear to be of any significance, with both 
gulping 184 of a 200-page data, a whopping 92% of the whole corpus, leaving 
the remaining aspects to share a mere 8% of data space. Of the two most attested 
aspects, the incompletive far outweighs the habitual by an almost 4 to 1 
margin. Other aspects not attested in the data are the completive, the 
intentional, the backgrounder, the expective, the inceptive, the manifestive 
and the antecedent completion. 

A breakdown of the corpus reveals that Tutuola tends to transfer mostly 
the incompletive and the habitual aspects. Standing at two pages and one page 
of data each, transfer of the anticipative, the relational and the relevant- 
inceptive aspects are not very significant. My focus therefore will be placed 
on the two aspects with the most significant amount of transfer: the 
incompletive and the habitual. 

3.4.1 The Incompletive Aspect 'ri' 

As has been mentioned above, Tutuola appears to transfer the 
incompletive aspect far more than any of the other eleven aspects in YL. In 
fact, taking 72% of the total, it stands far apart from all the other aspects 
combined. As one of the simple aspects, the incompletive has only a single 
marker, 'ri' and does not have a specific time referent (cf. Section 2.3.2.2). Its 
basic referent is the ongoingness of an activity, event or situation. Time: 
present, past or future is not relevant to this aspect, as it could deal with all of 
these, depending on the context of usage. Take the following examples for 
instance, 

(27) Mo padee Kike mgbati mo ri lo sEkoo lanaa. 

IpS meet Kike when IpS INCOM. go to+Lagos yesterday 
'I met Kike on my way to Lagos yesterday.' 



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(27b) Mo ri lo sEkoo lanaa. 

IpS INCOM. go to+Lagos yesterday 
I was going to Lagos yesterday. 

(28) Mo ri lo slbadan bayii. 
IpS INCOM. go to+Ibadan now 

'I am on my way to Ibadan right now/ this moment.' 

(29) Mo ri lo sOgbomQ$6 101a. 
IpS INCOM. go to+Ogbomoso tomorrow 

'I am going to Ogbomoso tomorrow.' 

In example (27), the main indicator of time is the time adverbial, 
'lanaa' (yesterday), although it still lends itself to a past interpretation due to 
the use of the completive aspect (unmarked). In spite of this, though, the real 
marker of time is the adverb 'lanaa'. Actually the sentence could not have the 
completive interpretation that it has were it not for the main clause, "Mo 
padee Kike..." for it is the main clause that is written in the completive aspect. 
If we were left only with the subordinate clause, "Mo n lo sEkoo lanaa", as in 
example (27b) then the sentence could not have a past interpretation without 
the adverb, 'lanaa'~the only indicator of time in that sentence. Thus (27b) 
lends itself to no particular time interpretation and we need a time adverb to 
assign it to any specific time frame. Otherwise the statement itself is tenseless. 

Similarly, in (28), it is the adverb of time, 'bayii' (right now, this 
moment) that lends the statement any sense of time. Otherwise, it could have 
either a past or a present, or even a future interpretation, depending on the 
context of usage. What is true of (28) is equally true of (29). The statement, "Mo 
n lo sOgbomoso" alone, without the time adverbial '1$1 a' (tomorrow) is devoid 
of any sense of time. What gives it a future interpretation is the inclusion of 
this futuristic adverb. 

What we see from these examples is that the incompletive covers the 
entire gamut of all the three major tenses of English. It is therefore not 



114 



surprising that Tutuola easily transfers it into EL, using it to cover various 
tenses of EL in his works, as demonstrated in the data below. 



3.4.1.1 Examples of Incompletive Referring to a Past Event: 

The past tense in EL has several manifestations, the most basic ones 
being the past simple, past continuous and the past perfect. The data show a lot 
of contexts that require the past simple in BE being translated into the past 
continuous forms in Tutuola's EL. There are a few other contexts that call for 
the past continuous but which Tutuola renders in the present continuous 
tense. In all instances, the YL incompletive aspect adequately translates the 
ideas carried by these EL tenses. I will take each of these past tense forms one 
by one and explain them within the contexts in which they appear in the data. 



Contexts Requiring the Past Simnle Tense in BE 

(30) I thought within myself that old people were saying that the people 
who died in this world, did not go to heaven directly, but they were 
living in one place somewhere in this world. (Appendix: 1) 

(31) He picked one cowrie out of the pit, after that he was running 
towards me, and the whole crowd wanted to tie the cowrie on my neck 
too. (Appendix: 2) 

(32) I was told that he was now at Deads' town" and they told me that he 
was living with deads at the "Deads' town", they told me that the town 
was very far away and only deads were living there. (Appendix: 2) 

(33) After a while he came out with two of his attendants who were 
following him to wherever he wanted to go. Then the attendants 
loosened me from the stump, so he mounted me and the two attendants 
were following him with whips in their hands and flogging me along 
in the bush. (Appendix: 3) 



In all four of the examples above, Tutuola uses the past continuous in NE 
to render situations that would have required the past simple tense forms in 
BE. For instance, the appropriate BE rendition for Tutuola's were living in 
(30) above would be the simple past form, lived. The same is true of was 



115 



running in (31), which should be rendered simply as ran in BE. In example 
(32), BE requires the past simple form of the verb: lived. Similarly, in (33), BE 
would have required the simple form, followed rather than Tutuola's were 
following. It is quite easy to explain what Tutuola is doing in all these 
instances: he was translating his thoughts from the Yoruba where the 
incompletive, ri adequately renders all of the scenarios represented here. In 
examples (30b-33b) below, I will be providing the YL rendition of the EL 
clauses that contain these BE tense forms. 

(30b) $ugbon won ri gbe ni ibikan 

but they INCOM.+live PREP somewhere 

'but they live/lived/are living/were living somewhere' 

Devoid of the specific context in which we find clause (30b), it could 
have any of the above interpretations in BE. The YL clause from which Tutuola 
translates his idea could have a present simple or a past simple interpretation. 
It could also be translated into the EL present or past continuous tenses, as 
context dictates. In the Yoruba mind, all that matters is that the state of the 
verb is tenseless. It is still in an inconclusive or incompletive stage. It could be 
interpreted as, 'they live there; they are (still) living there; they lived there 
or they were (still) living there'. Since the context of usage dictates a past 
event, however, Tutuola renders the auxiliary verb (were) in its past tense 
form, but puts the main verb (living) in the continuous form, thus giving it 
an incompletive sense. 

(31b) lehin naa 6 ri sare bo sodp mi 
after that 3pS LNCOM.+run come towards me 
'after that he runs/ran/is running/was running towards 
me' 



116 



In (31b), as in (30b), the idea Tutuola is translating into EL is the YL 
incompletive 'ri sar£' which could be conveniently rendered by the BE runs, 
is running, ran, was running'. To the YL speaker, the important thing here is 
that the activity of running is incompletive, and this could be in the past or in 
the present, if context so dictates. Again, since the context of usage 
presupposes a past time frame, Tutuola uses the past form for the auxiliary 
verb (was), but since the action is inconclusive, he renders the main verb in 
the continuous form 'running'. 

(32b) awon dku nikan ni 6 si n gbe ibe 

PLUR. dead only be 3pS and INCOM.+live there 
'and only the dead live/lived/are living/were living there' 

Example (32b) is similar to (30b) in that both use the same verbs. The 
explanation is therefore the same in both instances. Here, as in (30b), Tutuola 
is translating the YL 'h gbe': live, lived, are living, were living. Again, the 
context dictates an activity that took place before the present time; however, it 
still was continuous during that time frame, thus Tutuola's justification for 
using the past continuous form in EL. 

(33b) awon omo-odo re meji ti 6 ri t$le e 

PLUR. attendants 3pS two who 3pS INCOM.+follow 3pSObj 
'two of his attendants who follow/followed/are 
following/were following/keep following/kept 
following him' 

Again, the YL 'ri t?16' could be rendered as any of the above. It could 
translate the BE 'are following, were following; follow, followed; keep 
following and kept following', context being the deciding factor in all cases. 
Since Tutuola is narrating an event that has already taken place, once more, 
he reverts to the past continuous form in EL. The past continuous giving a 
sense of the past, but also capturing the YL sense of incompletion. 



117 



The YL rendition in (30b-33b) above throw some light into what was 

going on in Tutuola's mind when he wrote those sentences. He was making his 

constructions in YL and translating them into EL. Since in YL, the 

incompletive adequately translates all of the above temporal situations, Tutuola 

therefore renders all of them in the past progressive form in NE. The issue in 

YL is not that of the time of the performance of the various activities involved 

but rather their ongoingness. The activities involved were not completive. 

They were still in the process of happening. What Tutuola does, both here and 

elsewhere, is what Young captures so well in the following quote. 

Alongside experiment runs writing dra wing upon the indigenous 
lang ua ges unconsciously because of the amount of European education 
the writer happened to receive. Amos Tutuola is the best known 
representative of this group ... Tutuola ... perhaps sheds light on the 
complexity of the influence of indigenous languages, in this case 
Yoruba, on the language of writing in English. He writes first in his 
own lang ua ge and himself translates it into English . This naturally has 
its effect on the language of his works. (Young 1971: 180, emphasis 
added). 

Contexts Requiring the Past Continuous in BE 

Not only does Tutuola use the past continous tense for situations that call 
for the use of the simple past in BE but he sometimes uses the present 
contiuous tense where BE requires the past continous. An instance of this is 
captured in the data provided below 

(34) Then I told the old man (god) that I am looking for my palm-wine 
tapster who had died in my town some time ago, he did not answer to my 
question but asked me first what was my name (Appendix: 1) 

In (34) Tutuola uses the present simple form, to describe an event that 
took place in the past. The accurate BE version should have been the past 
continuous form, 'was looking'. However, what Tutuola does here is very 
typical of YL speakers of NE, including, once in a while, the so-called educated 
£lite who have been well schooled in the British and American traditions. The 



118 



reason for this is not far fetched, in YL the verb is not inflected for tense and 
the aspect markers do not point to any specific time frame. It is therefore easy 
for the YL speaker of EL to transfer this linguistic habit into EL. A YL 
translation of the clause containing this verb form will further clarify my 
point. 

(34b) pe mo ri wa ademuu mi 

that IpS INCOM. looking for palm-wine tapper IpSObj 
'that I am/was looking for my palm-wine tapper'. 

The aspect/verb combination 'ri wa' could be translated either as 'am 
looking for' or 'was looking for' since the aspect marker 'ri' does not have 
any time indication. Although, in the data, the context calls for a past time 
frame, Tutuola still uses a present time frame anyhow. This type of transfer is 
very unconscious for YL speakers who also unconsciously use the feminine 
and masculine forms of the third person EL subject pronouns she and he 
often indiscriminately. I have caught myself doing this many a time already 
and I have caught many a Yoruba speaker of EL, including the most educated 
and sophisticated, doing this at various times. Some have even attempted to 
deny doing so although caught red handed. The reason for this subconscious 
transfer is not far fetched either; in YL, the third person singular subject 
pronoun is not inflected for gender nor is it differentiated for humanness, as 
is the case in EL. In fact there is only one marker for the semantic fields 
covered by EL she, he and it. It is the pronoun '6'. This pronoun is used for 
both humans and non-humans, female or male. Thus "6 ti de" could mean 
either of "She is here", "He is here" or "It is here". 



119 



3.4.2 Verbs that do not take - in g in BE 

Another interesting area of Tutuola's transfer of the YL incompletive is 
that involving certain EL verbs of perception such as 'to hear' and 'to see'. In 
BE grammar, these verbs cannot take the - i n g inflection in the general sense 
of their meaning. In the following examples, (35a) and (36a) are 
ungrammatical while (35b) and (36b) are not. 

*(35a)I am hearing you. 

(35b) I can hear you. 
(35c)I am listening to you 
*(36a)I am seeing you. 

(36b) I can see you. 

(36c) I am seeing her. 

In (35a), the verb 'hear' can only be rendered in the simple form even 
if the act of hearing has an incompletive sense. BE has two possible ways of 
rendering this: either in the form in (35b) or (35c), although in (35c) a 
different verb has to be used. In (35b) the verb 'hear' is preceded by the modal 
'can.' The verb 'to listen' is allowed to have an -ing inflection, however. 

In (36a), BE grammar blocks the -ing form of the verb 'to see', except, of 
course, as a gerund. Notice (36c), however. In this example, the verb 'to see' 
can take the -ing form, but then its meaning is no longer the same. Now it has 
a meaning synonymous with 'dating'. Thus, "I am seeing her" does not have 
the sense of "I am looking at her," but rather, I am currently in a dating 
relationship with her. 

In YL, however, the semantic field of the verb 'gbcV includes all of EL's 
'to hear', 'to listen', 'to understand' as well as 'to smell'. The sense is that of 'to 
perceive'. Thus in YL you can 'gbo', a smell, a sound or even someone. The 
following examples will clarify what I am saying. 

(37) Mo ri gb0 dorunnakan. 

IpS INCOM. perceive smell something 
T can smell something'. 



120 



'I can perceive the smell of something'. 

(38) Mo n gbQ ohun ti o h so. 
IpS INCOM. listen thing that 2pS INCOM. say 
'I am listening to what you are saying.' 

(39) Mo n gbqyin. 

IpS INCOM. listen 2pP 
'I am listening to you.' 

(40) Mo gbQ ohun ti o so. 
IpS understand thing that 2pS say 
'I understand what you said.' 

(41) Mi d gbQ ohun ti o so. 
IpS NEG. hear thing that 2pS say 
'I did not hear what you said.' 



In (37), g bo has the sense of 'perceive', while in (38) and (39) the sense 
is that of 'to listen'. In (40), the sense is that of 'understand' and in (41) it 
means 'to hear'. What the examples above show is that the semantic field of 
'gbo' in YL is quite broad, covering the meanings of all of the following EL 
verbs: to hear, to listen, to understand and to perceive. 

Due to the broad nature of the usage of this verb in YL, one often hear 
YL speakers of English utter the following utterances, which have become 
some of the characteristic features of NE: 

(42) She doesn't hear word. 

(43) I am hearing you. 

(44) I can hear a smell. 

(45) Do you hear me? 

The BE interpretation of (42-45) above is listed as (42b-45b) below 
(42b) She doesn't listen. 

(43b) I am listening to you (Depending on the context, this could also 
have the sense of "I can hear you".) 
(44b) I can perceive a smell. 
(45b) Do you understand me? 

In the above situations it is apparent that the YL speaker assigns the 
same semantic value to the EL verb 'to hear' that is attached to the YL verb 
'gbo' thus using 'hear' in all the instances where the BE speaker of EL would 
have used different verbs, such as listen, perceive and understand. The BE 



121 



verb 'hear' is thus extended to include the role normally assigned to all of the 
above verbs of perception whereby 'to hear' actually means 'to perceive.' 

Examples (46) through (51) are instances involving Tutuola's transfer 
of the YL incompletive aspect onto certain verbs of perception to produce 
structures that would be considered ungrammatical in British English (BE). 

(46) So that since that day that I had brought Death out from his 
house, he has no permanent place to dwell or stay, and we are hearing 
his name about in the world (Appendix: 1). 

In (46), we find Tutuola transferring the YL 'a si ri gbc> oruko re' into 
EL to produce the 'and we are hearing his name' in the above passage. The 
more precise BE translation of this clause would be 'and we continue to hear 
his name' or 'and we still hear his name.' Or it could even be rendered by the 
passive, 'and his name is still being heard.' Tutuola's 'and we are hearing 
his name' is ungrammatical in BE, as the verb 'to hear' is not allowed to take a 
progressive form, except, of course, as a gerund. 

In example (47), we find the same type of scenario. Again, Tutuola adds 
an -ing ending to a verb that normally does not take an -ing ending in BE. He 
signals that the event took place in the past by using the past tense form of the 
auxiliary verb, 'was.' The - ing ending captures the sense of the YL 
incompletive aspect. The more accurate BE rendition of Tutuola's 'and when 
the "homeless-ghost" was hearing my voice inside the wood" would be 'and 
when the "homeless-ghost" heard my voice inside the wood.' 

(47) But as this snake was also fearful to me too, then I was crying 
louder than before, and when the "homeless-ghost" was hearing my 
voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music for him, then he started to 
dance the ghosts' dance ... (Appendix: 6). 

Other instances involving a peculiar use of EL perception verbs are 
given in examples (48-52). In (48) an accurate BE rendition would be 'we 



122 



heard faintly'. In (49), BE would have required the simple past form, 'was 
heard'. The same analysis goes for the verb 'to see' in (50-52) where Tutuola 
uses the unacceptable form of the verb 'was seeing', to translate the YL 
incompletive form 'ri ri'. In all the examples cited, Tutuola ignores some 
restrictive rules guiding the use of certain verbs of perception, such as 'to 
hear' and 'to see.' These verbs are not permitted to carry the - i n g inflection 
in the contexts in which we find them in Tutuola's usage. 

(48) As these hunters were still telling me the story of "Odara" as we 
were going along to the river, there we were hearing faintly, the 
noises which were coming from a long distance (Appendix: 11). 

(49) When "Odara" came nearer all the hills and trees were shaking, 
his voice was hearing all over the jungle (Appendix: 12). 

(50) After I travelled in this jungle for a few minutes - the great 
fears, wonders, and uncountable of undescriptive strange things, which 
I was seeing here and there were stopped me by force (Appendix: 18). 

(51) After I killed "obstacle" I travelled in this jungle till six o'clock 
in the evening. As I was travelling along it was so I was killing all the 
wild animals that I was seeing on the way (Appendix: 27). 

(52) As I was looking for this boa constrictor it was so I was killing all 
the wild animals which I was seeing on the way. And in a few days 
time I killed the whole of them (Appendix: 30). 

3.4.1.2 Examples Involving the Habitual Asoect'maa ri' 

Next in order of significance are examples involving the transfer of the 
YL habitual aspect to produce structures that perfectly make sense in YL and 
Yoruba English (YE) but are unacceptable in BE. These include rendering in 
the past continuous, and occasionally in the past perfect continuous tense, 
contexts that in BE would have required either the past simple (as in (57-59)) 
or the phrasal verb "used to" (as in.(53-56) below). 



123 



Contexts Requiring the Modal Verb Used to in BE 

As with the other forms of transfer discussed earlier on, the data also 
contains many examples of the past continuous being used in contexts where 
BE would have required the "used to" form of the past tense. Examples (53-56) 
below are just a few of such instances. In all of these examples, the YL habitual 
aspect 'maa ri' adequately translates the ideas being conveyed. 

The YL rendition of the phrase "I was drinking palm-wine from 
morning till night" in (53) is provided as (53b) below while those tranlating 
the ideas being conveyed by (54-56) are provided as (54b-56b) respectively. 



(53) My father got eight children and I was the eldest among them, all 
of the rest were hard workers, but I myself was an expert palm-wine 
drinkard. I was drinking palm- wine from morning till night and 
from night till morning (Appendix: 37). 

(53b) Mo maa ri mu emu lati aaro di al$ 

IpS HABITUAL drink palm-wine from morning till night 
T used to drink palm-wine from morning till night' 



Examples (54-56) provide further instances where Tutuola transfers the 
YL habitual aspect to produce the past continuos tense in contexts that would 
have required the phrasal verb "used to". Each example from the data is 
followed by a YL translation of the sentence or phrase containing the VP in 
order to elucidate what exactly was going on in Tutuola's mind when he wrote 
those statements. In (54) for instance, his "was tapping" perfectly translates 
the YL "maa n da" (54b). 



(54) So my father gave me a palm-tree farm which was nine miles 
square and it contained 560,000 palm-trees, and this palm-wine tapster 
was tapping one hundred and fifty kegs of palm-wine every morning 
(Appendix: 37) 

(54b) ademu yii maa ri da aadojo agbe emu 

palm-wine tapper this HABIT, tap 150 keg palm-wine 
'this palm-wine tapper used to tap one hundred and fifty kegs of 
palm- wine' 



124 



Similarly, Tutuola's "were doing" and "was doing" in (55) and (56) 
respectively, are a transfer of the YI habitual aspect 'maa n' (55b, 56b). All of 
the examples involve activities that took place continuously over a period of 
time before the present. They were habitual events. Thus Tutuola is more 
concerned about the internal consistency of the activities rather than in the 
time of their performance. 



(55) I was seven years old before I understood the meaning of "bad" 
and "good", because it was at that time I noticed carefully that my father 
married three wives as they were doing in those days, if it is not 
common nowadays (Appendix: 38). 

(55b) baba mi f$ iyawo meta bi won se maa n se laye atijo 
father my marry wife three as PLU.do HABIT, do in-world old 
'my father had married three wives as they used to do in days 

gone by/ as the practice was in those days' 

(56) Immediately I held the cudgel and I was expecting him to come 
down as he was doing before. A few minutes after that he did not hear 
the sound of my "shakabullah" gun again, he flew down (Appendix: 43). 

(56b) mo h reti pe 6 maa sokale wa bi 6 se maa n 
IpS INCOM. hope that 3pS ANTI. descend come as 3pS do HABIT. 

se cp/e- 

do before 

'I was expecting him to come down as he used to do before.' 



Contexts Requiring the Past Simpl e Tense in BE 

Examples (57) through (59) provide instances of contexts in which BE 
would have required the past simple or past historic tense. Once again, Tutuola 
transfers the YL habitual aspect to derive the past continuous tense which is 
perfectly within the range of coverage of the former. The logic is simple: the 
activities took place in the past, thus the past tense forms witnessed in the 
auxiliary verb "were". The activities were habitual, thus incompletive, so we 
have the -ing endings in the main verbs (assembling, coming, making). In 
Tutuola's mind, the BE verbs, met, assembled (57b), came (58b), made (59b), are 
too finite and punctual and do not do justice to the incompleteness and 



125 



ongoingness of the activities in question, thus his resort to the past 
continuous, which captures more vividly the internal consistency of the YL 
habitual aspect. 



(57) It was in this town I saw that they had an "Exhibition of Smells'. 
All the ghosts of this town and environs were assembling yearly and 
having a special "Exhibition of Smells" and the highest prizes were 
given to one who had the worst smells and would be recognized as a 
king since that day (Appendix: 39). 

(57b) Gbogbo awon 6ku ilu yti ati agbegbe r$ maa ri 
All PLU. ghost town this and surrounding 3PSObj. HABIT. 

pade lodoodun 

meet yearly 

'All the ghosts of this town and its environs met/assembled 
yearly' 

(58) The market day was fixed for every 5th day and the whole people 
of that town and also spirits and curious creatures from various bushes 
and forests were coming to this market every 5th day to sell or buy 
articles (Appendix: 39). 

(58b) awQD abami edk m£a n wa si oja yii 
PLU. curious creature HABIT. come to market this 
'curious creatures.. .came to this market' 

(59) And under the ground of this jungle, there were metals as brass, 
copper, etc., with which the people were making the cutlasses, knives, 
hoes, etc., from the iron which were dug out from there. All these 
things were attracting the people to force themselves to go there as well 
(Appendix: 41). 

(59b) fir' awon eniyan fi maa ri se Ma, pbe, oko 
which PLU. people use HABIT, do cutlass, knives, hoe 
'with which the people made the cutlasses, knives, hoes' 



3.4.3 Examples Invol ving the Anticipative Aspect 'maa ' 

Although a great majority of Tutuola's transfer involves the 
incompletive and the habitual aspects, there are a few examples based on the 
transfer of the anticipative aspect. As I have already explained in the previous 
chapter (cf. 2.3.2.4), the anticipative aspect describes an activity or event that 
is non-existent but likely to take place. It is non-completive and not ongoing 
and although such an activity or event has a likelihood of taking place, there 



126 



are no guarantees it would. It is therefore used in planning, speculating or 
predicting. It is used to describe activities or actions that the speaker 
anticipates to perform. This aspect is traditionally referred to in the literature 
as future tense but the following examples indicate that the anticipative does 
not necessarily correspond to the future tense. 

(60) Mo maa pari i$e yii ki n to loole. 
IpS ANTI. finish work this before I reach go+home 
'I plan to complete this job before I go home/ I anticipate 
completing this piece of work before going home.' 

(61) Mo maa lo. 
IpS want ANTI. go 

'I am planning to/about to leave.' 

In both of the examples above, it is obvious that maa is not referring to 
some future event, but rather to the present state of mind of the speaker. In 
(60), she anticipates finishing whatever job she has already started to do 
before leaving for home. Meanwhile she keeps on doing the work and does not 
plan to quit until it is completed. In (61), the speaker has probably been 
visiting for a while and, remembering that he probably has some other things 
to do at home, decides it's time to leave. 

Contexts Requiring the Conditional Present Simple in BE 

In the following examples from the data, Tutuola transfers the 
anticipative aspect to EL to derive such conditional past continuous phrases as 
"would be drinking" (62), "would be returning" (63) and "should be 
talking" (64). 

A Yoruba rendition of the clauses containing the highlighted verb 
phrases (VPs) in examples (62-64) are given in (62b-64b). In all of the YL 
translations, the anticipative aspect adequately captures the ideas being 



127 



conveyed in the given contexts but BE calls for the use of present simple form 
of the verb, preceded by a modal. 



(62) After that he would go and tap another 75 kegs in the evening 
which I would be drinking till morning (Appendix: 47) 

(62b) nirole ti mo maa mu titi daarp 

in+evening which IpS ANTI. drink until become+morning 
'in the evening which I would drink until day break' 

(63) By 4 o'clock in the evening, the market would close for that day 
and then everybody would be returning to his or her destination or 
to where he or she came from (Appendix: 47). 

(63b) lqhin naa gbogbo eniyan maa pada si ibudo won 
after that all people ANTI. return to place 3pPObj. 
'afterwards everybody would return to their destinations' 

(64) As I was following them to the river, they were telling me that I 
should be talking to them very softly because if "Odara" the giant- 
like or cyclops-like creature as I could describe him and who was the 
owner of this semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else, would come 
out and kill us (Appendix: 47). 

(64) won n so fun mi pe Id h maa ba won soro 
3pP INCOM. tell give me that should I ANTI. with 3pPObj. talk 
'they were telling me that I should talk to them' 



Contexts Requiring the Present Simnle Tense in BE 

In the following examples, Tutuola uses the form "to be + -ing" to 
translate the YL "lati (to/in order to) + maa (anticipative)" in contexts where 
BE calls for the infinitival form "to + verb". 



(65) And also the mosquitoes which were as big as flies did not let me 
rest once till the morning, but I had no hands to be driving 
them away from my body (Appendix: 47) 

(65b) sugbQn mi d m owo lati maa fi le won 

but IpS NEG. have hand to ANTI. with chase 3pPObj. 
'but I didn't have any hands (with which) to drive them away' 

(66) After I ate the porcupine to my satisfaction, I began to think in 
mind whether to kill the whole of the wild animals first ... or to be 
looking for where the pigmies were living in this jungle first before I 
would come back to kill those wild animals (Appendix: 48). 



128 



(66b) tabi lati maa wa ibi ti awon arara naa h gbe 
or to ANTI. search place which PLUR pigmy those INCOM live 
'or to look for/keep looking for where the pigmies lived' 

(67) This huge man was one of the "obstacles" of this jungle. He was 
one of the strongest and the most cruel pigmies who were keeping 
watch of the jungle always. His work was to be bringing any hunter 
or anyone who came to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies, for 
punishment (Appendix: 48). 

(67b) Is4 r$ ni lati maa mu odekod$ tabi enikqni 
Work 3pSObj. is to ANTI. bring any+hunter or anyone 
'His work was to bring any hunter or anyone' 

(68) After he handed my property to the king and another pigmy put 
them on the ceiling and the king thanked him greatly and advised him 
as well to be going round the jungle every day and night and 
bringing all hunters or huntresses he might see in the jungle... 
(Appendix: 48). 

(68b) lati maa pooyi igbo naa laraarQ ati lalaale 

to ANTI. go+round forest that each+morning and at+night 
'to go round/keep going round the jungle day and night' 



What we see in these constructions is that Tutuola appears to derive two 
different EL tenses from one and the same YL aspect. The first group are those 
he renders with modal+copula+-ing (62-64b) and the second are those with 
the form infinitive+copula+-ing (65-68b). In both instances YL uses the 
anticipative aspect to achieve the same purpose. 



3.4.4 Examples Involving the Relati onal Aspect 'ti ' 

The next group of examples from the data, though quite scanty (there 
are only four such examples), involves those in which Tutuola transfers the 
YL relational aspect to EL to produce the past simple tense in NE. In all of the 
contexts, however, BE calls for the past perfect tense. All four instances are 
reproduced below, each one followed by a (b) which is a YL translation of the 
relevant clauses. 



129 



(69) After I ate the porcupine to my satisfaction, I began to think in 
mind whether to kill the whole of the wild animals first ... or to be 
looking for where the pigmies were living in this jungle first before I 
would come back to kill those wild animals (Appendix: 49). 

(69b) Lehin ti mo ti je dore naa t? ara mi iQriin 

After that IpS RELAT. eat porcupine that to self me satisfaction 
'After I had eaten the porcupine to my satisfaction' 

(70) After I killed "obstacle" I travelled in this jungle till six o'clock 
in the evening. As I was travelling along it was so I was killing all the 
wild animals that I was seeing on the way (Appendix: 49). 

(70b) Lehin ti mo ti pa "idiwQ" mo rin ninu igbo yti 
After that IpS ANTI. kill "obstacle" IpS walk inside forest this 
'After I had killed "obstacle" I travelled in this jungle' 

(71) After I rested for a few minutes then I started to beat him with 
my poisonous cudgel until when he was completely powerless and then 
he died after some munutes. It was like that I killed this "super-animal" 
as I could call him (Appendix: 49). 

(71b) Lehin ti mo ti sinmi fun itfju df£ 
After that IpS RELAT. rest for minute few 
'After I had rested for a few minutes' 

(72) As I was looking for this boa constrictor it was so I was killing all 
the wild animals which I was seeing on the way. And in a few days time 
I killed the whole of them (Appendix: 49). 

(72b) niwdnba ojQ die mo ti pa gbogbo won t£n 

during day few IpS RELAT. kill all 3pPObj. finish 

'in a few days' time I had killed all of them' 



It is quite interesting here that although in the YL VPs the main verb is 
usually preceded by an aspect marker (the relational 'ti' in this context), 
Tutuola chooses to use the past simple tense in NE, as if he were transfering 
the YL completive aspect which, generally, is unmarked in syntax. 
Furthermore, the YL relational aspect generally refers to an event or activity 
that is yet incomplete with reference to an ongoing one. Thus for Tutuola to 
have resorted to the past simple (which is the closest to the YL completive 
aspect) is difficult to understand. One would have expected that since the YL 
structure is a compound one (i.e. ti + verb), Tutuola would have used a similar 
EL tense (i.e. one with a compound structure, such as the present or past 



130 



perfect). Whatever be the case, though, Tutuola is very consistent in his 
transfer and use of his structure of choice. 



3 .4.5 Examples Involving the Relevant-Inceptive Aspect 'ti ri' 

The last group of examples from the data are those involving the 
transfer of the relevant-inceptive aspect from YL to derive the past 
continuous in contexts where BE calls for either the past perfect or the past 
simple tenses. The data contains only four of such usages, two in contexts 
where BE would have required the past perfect tense and two in those where 
BE would have required the past simple. 



Contexts Requiring the Past Perfect in BE 

In the examples below Tutuola uses the past continuous tense. The more 
accurate tense in BE is the past perfect, in both instances 



(73) But when my palm-wine tapster completed the period of 15 years 
that he was tapping the palm-wine for me, then my father died 
suddenly, and when it was the 6th month after my father had died, the 
tapster went to the palm-tree farm on a Sunday evening to tap palm- 
wine for me (Appendix: 50). 

(73b) ti 6 ti ri da emu fun mi 

that 3pS REL.-INCEP. tap palm-wine give IpSObj. 
'that he had been tapping palm-wine for me' 

(74) Because I ought to do all these three works - "To see that I ... kill 
the whole of the pigmies who were detaining many hunters or to 
drive them away from this jungle and the third work was to see that I 
bring my four brothers back to my town, because I had promised my 
people and the people of my town to do these three works ... (Appendix: 
50). 

(74b) gbogbo awon arara ti won ti ri da opo ode duro 

all PLUR. pigmy who 3pP REL.-INCEP. keep many hunter wait 
'all of the pigmies who had been detaining many a hunter' 



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Contexts Re quiring the EaSl Simple in BE 

Two examples from the data fall into this category and these are given 
below. In both cases Tutuola uses the past continuous tense, as with the two 
examples already discussed above. 

(75) His arms were very long and thick. He had a big half fall goitre 
on his neck and he had a very big belly which, whenever he was 
going or running along, would be shaking here and there and 
sounding heavily (Appendix: 50). 

(75b) igbakiigba tf 6 ba ti n lo 
whenever that 3pS would REL.-INCEP. go 
'whenever he went' 

(76) We first wrestled for about fifteen minutes. And each time that he 
was flinging me away with great anger, to his surprise, I was 
standing up and gripping him before my feet were touching the ground 
(Appendix: 50). 

(76b) gbogbo igba ti 6 ti n ju mi nu 

all time that 3pSObj. REL.-INCEP. throw IpSObj. lost 
'each time that he flung me away' 

It is quite understandable why Tutuola would revert to the past 
continuous tense of EL to translate the YL relevant-inceptive aspect. Like the 
continuous 'tense' of EL, there is an element of incompletion involved in the 
relevant-inceptive aspect as it describes an activity or event that has a 
starting point in the past but still has relevance into the moment of speech. It 
is therefore quite logical that Tutuola would use the past continuous tense of EL 
to render these expressions in NE. Although BE would require two different 
tenses in these instances, as the data demonstrates, in YL the same aspect is 
adequate to cover the ideas conveyed by these two tenses. 

In conclusion, since the YL aspects transferred (especially the 
incompletive and habitual) have narrative function~a function that is very 
conducive to story telling-Tutuola appears to have capitalized on these, thus 
using them to translate several EL tenses. Tutuola himself being a story-teller 



132 



whose main purpose was to tell and retell the stories of his people to a world 
audience, this function seems very appealing and he took advantage of it to 
the very limits of its elasticity. He also broadened the scope of some EL verbs 
by assigning to them the semantic characteristics of similar YL verbs. By so 
doing, he was able to produce structures that, though unacceptable in BE, do 
make a lot of sense within the context of YL and NE. 



CHAPTER 4 
CONCLUSION 



This final chapter consists of two parts: a brief summation of the issues 
discussed in the main body of the dissertation, and a consideration of possible 
implications for linguistic theory, second language pedagogy and literary 
criticism as they relate to the new Englishes and Nigerian English. 

4.1 Summary 

This entire dissertation is the result of a brief meeting with Amos 
Tutuola a little over twenty years ago. He had, I immediately noticed, a peculiar 
way of using the English language that was both fascinating and interesting. 
As a young freshman, sitting in a literature in English class and listening 
attentively to a humble looking, softspoken, and scantily educated elderly 
Yorubaman garbed in a simple Yoruba native attire of buba and sokoto tell 
folktales to us "well educated" (or at least, so we believed) university students, 
I found his language was absolutely intriguing. As a Yoruba person myself, I 
could readily identify with some of his stories but there was something about 
the way he spoke English that captured my undivided attention. I knew some 
of his sentences were grammatically "incorrect" while some of his 
expressions were outright unacceptable to our English-educated minds, which 
had given us rules for speaking "correct" English. This notwithstanding, I was 
still able to follow, understand, and even identify with his story. But this 
wasn't too strange after all. Tutuola's story readily struck a chord within me. 
Although linguistically I couldn't make much sense of what really was going 

133 



134 



on at that time, several years of studying language and linguistics finally 
began to give me some clues as to why Tutuola used English the way he did and 
why, although most of his structures were grammatically incorrect according 
to the British tradition that was imported into Nigeria, I still was able to 
understand what he was saying with little or no effort. 

Thanks to the linguistic tools I have acquired over the past years, I have 
found, in revisiting of Tutuola's works that it has become much easier to have 
a better understanding of his language. In addition, I think I have begun to 
understand why he spoke and wrote the way he did, or to put it in a better way, 
why he wrote the way he spoke, and, in addition, that the way he spoke 
actually was an outflow of the way he thought. What Tutuola was doing in 
essence was to think in Yoruba, then translate his thoughts into English 
before putting them into writing. The end result of this linguistic alchemy was 
an English language touched by, then molded and shaped by Yoruba 
worldview and thought processes, a new type of English that Afolayan, 
another Yoruba and a distinguished professor of English, would later on refer 
to as "Yoruba English" and an internet reviewer would describe as having the 
"cyclical nature of extended drumming," a good reminder of the Yoruba 
language itself, a tonal language that uses the "talking drum" as one of its 
means of communication through an artful combination and manipulation of 
the three tonal system of the language. 

In order to anchor Tutuola and his language properly in its own 
context, I have provided a brief background (in Chapter 1) to the peculiar 
situation that brought two languages, from two different worlds of experience 
to have a destiny that is so close but yet different. This was the main thrust of 
my first chapter in which I told who the Yoruba are, where they live and 
interact, and how the colonial experience came to alter forever the destinies of 



135 



the Yoruba people and their British subjugators as well as those of their 
languages, and thereby creating new varieties of Yoruba and English through 
that process. Secondly, I gave a brief attention to the Yoruba language, 
showing that it is a coherent system in its own right. This was to lay the 
necessary foundation for demonstrating how it has contributed to the way 
English is used in the Nigerian context, and most importantly, in Tutuola's 
writings. 

Most of the studies on language contact and influence, especially those 
dealing with the contact between English and other languages, have been 
undertaken from the perspective of English and have focussed mainly on the 
influence of English on these languages. Comparatively little, however, has 
been done on how these other languages have also influenced, affected, and 
changed the face of English and the way it is used around the world. It was the 
second concern that became important in chapter three. 

In Chapter 2, my focus was on the internal workings of the Yoruba verb 
phrase, with particular emphasis on temporal relations in the language. 
However, within this system the story of the contact with English is replayed 
again, by the way Yoruba grammatical description itself has been shaped and 
influenced by English over the years as a result of the English-based 
educational background of the linguists and grammarians doing the analysis. 
Thus, I pointed out some of these problematic areas of Yoruba grammatical 
description and attempted a more Yoruba-based and Yoruba-centric approach. 

The main thrust of Chapter 2, then, was to propose that rather than a 
tense based language, as most previous grammars have suggested, Yoruba is 
primarily an aspect-driven language. A twelve aspect classification was 
proposed, with two main subdivisions into simple and complex aspects. The 
simple aspects include the completive, incompletive, relational, anticipative 



136 



and the intentional. The complex aspect series comprises the backgrounder, 
expective, inceptive, manifestive, antecedent completion, relevant-inceptive 
and the habitual. The simple aspects consist of single aspect markers while the 
complex ones are various combinations of the simple aspect markers, some two 
and others three. These complex combinations were shown to be 
rule-governed and syntactically constrained, having the order: ((((yio) + 
(((((ti)) + ((maa)))) + (n)))). Thus apart from the fact that each of the aspect 
markers can stand as aspects in their own rights, we have three other 
combinatorial sequences involving 'yio': 'yio ti', 'yio ti maa' and 'yio maa'; 
four complex combinations involving 'ti': 'yio ti', 'yio ti maa', 'ti maa', 'ti maa 
n' and 'ti n'; five combinations involving 'maa': 'yio ti maa', 'yio maa', 'ti 
maa', 'ti maa n' and 'maa n'; and three combinatorial possibilities of 'ri': 'ti 
maa n', 'ti n' and 'maa n'. These combinations, together with the individual 
single (simple) aspects, make up the repertoire of aspects in the Yoruba 
language. 

Although some of these aspects have been identified in earlier anlyses 
(mostly in unpublished theses and articles), earlier attempts were inadequate 
in a number of ways. Some writers failed to identify aspect markers and thus 
assigned them to other categories of the grammar. Others referred to most of 
these aspect markers as either tense markers, preverbs or modals. One other 
problem with these earlier classifications is that exemplified by Bolorunduro's 
analysis. In that analysis he proposed some 40-50 different aspects for Yoruba 
of which he came up with just 38. Some of these are actually verbs, others 
modals or even morpho-phonological variants of the same aspect. The main 
problem with Bolorunduro's study is its lack of rigorous analysis and its 
consequent need for fine-tuning. 



137 



One of the main purposes of my analysis has been to provide a more 
rigorous, comprehensive and exhaustive list of Yoruba aspects and their 
combinatorial possibilities in the language. I have also attempted to answer 
Bolorunduro's lingering question about Bamgbose's classification of Yoruba 
tenses into simple without a corresponding complex tense. The latter's 
question was that if there is a simple tense, shouldn't there also be a complex 
tense? My analysis of Yoruba aspect into simple and complex aspects, I believe, 
answers that question, albeit in a different way from previously attempted 
efforts to answer that question. While Bamgbose's analysis identifies Yoruba as 
a tense language, mine calls for an aspect-oriented approach to the language. 
The nagging problem with Yoruba grammatical analysis is that it has been 
approached from the perspective of the English language, which in turn has 
given rise to the deficit hypothesis syndrome that has plagued most attempts at 
a more independent analysis of the language. In this study, I have made a 
concerted effort to look at Yoruba for what it is: Yoruba (and not English or 
any other language for that matter). I believe that Yoruba, like any other 
language, should be seen as a complete system within itself and be anaylzed as 
such, rather than compared, favorably or unfavorably, to another language. 
To me, this is the only path to a fair, just and honest grammatical analysis of 
any language. 

In Chapter 3, my analysis of Tutuola's English is intended to show how 
other languages, and Yoruba specifically, have affected and continue to affect 
the way English is being described and used around the globe. In order to 
demonstrate how Yoruba has contributed to how English is used, judged and 
perceived in the Nigerian environment, however, I needed to, by necessity, 
give a brief analysis of the Yoruba language as a linguistic system on its own 
merit, and this is what I did in the chapters prior to this one. 



138 



The purpose of this dissertation is to show why Tutuola wrote the way he 
did, using just one of the major elements of influence from his mother tongue, 
Yoruba. I chose to focus on the influence of Yoruba aspect because it happens 
to be the most pervasive as well as the most subtle element in the syntactic 
make-up of Tutuola's English. A close look at how aspect operates in the 
Yoruba language was very useful and necessary in deciphering the 
underlying structures of Tutuola's supposedly "mangled" English. 

Of course, aspectual influences alone cannot explain all of the 
idiosyncracies of his grammar. Other influences also exist, especially those we 
find in his noun phrases, which involve the omission of certain elements such 
as articles and other determinants and modifiers that are obligatory in the 
target British English or even Standard American English. It is only this type 
of careful and painstaking analysis that could help us properly appraise the 
language of Tutuola and consequently his works and thus place the man and 
his works in their rightful place in the literary world and give him the honor 
that he so much deserves~a comfortable place among the literary giants of 
our time. 

What I have attempted to demonstrate here is that what Tutuola does is 
not arbitrary at all, but is, instead, rather systematic and even rule-governed. 
Tutuola's English cannot just be simply dismissed as errors of grammar or of 
usage, in the very negative sense of those terms, but rather the painstaking 
effort of a man with little formal education in English who carefully patterns 
his English after the structure and rules of his mother tongue in order to 
communicate to posterity a passion-that of preserving the folklore of his 
people for generations yet unborn. To achieve this noble objective, Tutuola 
has had to domesticate the English lnaguage, remold and refashion it into a 
useful tool to communicate his message to a worldwide audience. He would not 



139 



allow the fear of not writing or speaking "correct grammar" to dissuade him 
from leaving a legacy for the next generation. Rather than see in EL a 
handicap, he saw in it a tool, a powerful tool, to communicate the passion of his 
life to posterity. 

In these days when some educators and language teachers are more 
interested in grammatical accuracy, people like Tutuola continue to remind us 
that the communication of ideas is far more important than grammatical 
correctness. Of course, this is not to encourage a deliberate mutilation of 
grammatical structures, but rather to put things into a perspective that places 
more emphasis on communicative competence than on grammatical 
competence. It is this dimension, this balance, that linguistics and, especially 
the sub-field of sociolinguistics has sought to bring to language education in 
recent decades by its emphasis on language in use, in society. By this, it 
recognizes the chief purpose of language: to communicate, and not just to be 
able to produce "correct" sentences. Communication is far more complex than 
just the ability to put words and phrases together in a perfect sequence. In 
fact, so strong is the stance of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA)--the 
highest linguistic body in the United States--on this matter that it boldly issued 
a statement of position during the highly publicized and polarized debate on 
the Oakland Ebonics issue affirming the legitimacy of Ebonics as a coherent 
linguistic system. Tutuola and his like continue to remind us that a person with 
a message should not be at the mercy of those who have assumed authority 
over grammatical correctness. The message must not be at the mercy of the 
medium. A person with a message should not be stifled; that message should be 
heard, its communication enhanced. 

Tutuola was a man with a message, a universal message, and he did not 
allow any form of distractions to deter him from giving his message to the 



140 



world. That The Palm-Wine Drinkard which was first published in 1952, is still 
being translated into more languages around the world today is a proof of the 
legacy of a man who could not be stopped or silenced. Amos Tutuola was a man 
with a will and a purpose, and although he himself has gone to the the "Deads' 
Town," his story and his message still live on as constant reminders of the 
power and universality of the Story. For, the Story does for our soul what no 
medicine can do--it soothes, inspires, encourages, challenges, appeals, reaches 
deep down to our very essence and being. 

Rather than demonized as some critics have attempted to do, I believe 
Tutuola should instead be praised for taking the bold steps that he took at a 
time when no one else had attempted to do so among his own people. It is this 
pioneering spirit of Tutuola's that should be celebrated over and above the 
clanging cymbals of noise over grammatical correctness. The words of wisdom 
of Achebe, Obi Wali, Soyinka, and many others come in as excellent reminders 
of the real issues at stake here and of the importance of handling them 
carefully so as not to do damage to the man, his message and his legacy. 

My closing challenge to Tutuola's critics and detractors out there, 
especially those that abhor his language, is to replicate this type of research 
in other areas of influence such as those mentioned above. Then and only 
then will we become able to honestly and properly critique his works. At this 
juncture, one cannot help but remember two famous and often quoted 
statements of Tutuola's contemporaries, one a fellow Nigerian, the other an 
Indian "cousin" (cf. § 3.2), regarding the English language and its use in new 
contexts. What Tutuola did was to make the English language "carry the 
weight" of his African experience and in doing so he had to transform it, 
"stretch it, impact it, fragment and reassemble it," in the words of Wole 
Soyinka, without any apologies whatsoever. He had to remold it so as to make it 



141 



bear, by necessity, the burden of his experiences. I believe that Tutuola has 
achieved the purpose for which he wrote. Evidence for this is seen in the fact 
that his works continue to attract followers and admirers around the world, as 
he continues to be re-discovered and discovered in places where he had been 
hitherto unknown. Several years after his death, many still continue to 
reclaim him as their own. To borrow the age-old biblical saying, it can be 
safely said of Tutuola too that "he being dead yet speaketh." 

My hope is that this effort will encourage similar researches into other 
areas of Tutuola's English and bring the findings to the awareness of those 
who might wish to study his works. Such analyses shoud help to elucidate the 
man's vision and thus his mission. Such knowledge should help in reducing 
the hostility towards Tutuola's works that one often finds among Nigerian 
critics. If the present work has helped in some way to take one necessary step 
towards a better understanding and appreciation of Tutuola, then his work will 
not have been in vain. 

4.2 Implications of the Study 
The implications of this study are several and far-reaching. Foremost is 
the implication for a theory of grammar. It has been the contention of 
linguistic science for decades now that every language is a self-sufficient 
system and can be used to express all of the experiences, hopes and aspirations 
of its speakers as well as new experiences that may present themselves. Earlier 
grammarians have tended to look at Yoruba from the perspective of English 
and the direct effect of that view was grammars based on the English 
language, all of which have proved inadequate for a proper and adequate 
analysis of Yoruba. In chapter two I proposed a strictly aspect-based analysis 
of the Yoruba language as a means of accounting more accurately for many of 



142 



the confusions brought about by previous tense-based analyses. This approach 
is especially important and may have far-reaching consequences for the field 
linguist who wishes to embark on the analysis of a previously unwritten 
language. A linguist who hopes to succeed in this effort must shed all previous 
misconceptions about what the language should look like or what it should or 
shouldn't contain within its system. It is only such an unbiased approach that 
can produce a grammar that is devoid of false representations. 

Studies like the one I have presented here also have implications for 
second language acquisition theory. Within the context of language contact 
where the transplanted language is used in an official capacity in places 
where there exist active and vibrant indigenous languages that are languages 
of wider communication within their own regions, used side by side with 
English as languages of the media, of regional government and intra- and 
inter-state commerce, this approach can be particularly important. In such an 
environment, it is very natural to expect strong mutual influences, resulting 
in changes in the ways both established and transplanted languages are used. 
English now belongs to the world community. Normal language changes 
chronicled in the linguistics literature apply to International English in ways 
comparable to other language change. Some changes are occasioned by 
language contact, others by normalization—also known in linguistic 
terminology as linguistic productivity. Productive changes are reflected in the 
ways that generation after generation acquires structure. The unbiased field 
method approach can be expected to prove valuable. This type of analysis is 
valuable to nations around the world in which this kind of process is still 
taking place, if only to show that what some language users might assume to 
be a deteriorated form of language is, in fact, evidence of the life of the 
language. Efforts along these lines may also shed light on questions 



143 



concerning ways that other native languages affect English when it is used as 
an official language, within a different socio-cultural context. 

The implication of this study for contact linguistics are quite simple and 
obvious: it leads to an understanding that language contact and interaction is a 
two-way process. When two languages come into contact, there are bound to be 
mutual influences at various levels of grammar and usage. As both languages 
interact with each other, a complex chemistry begins to take place within both 
languages that results in changes--not "corruption"--within the two systems. 
Tutuola's English, and by the same token, Nigerian English and other forms of 
English used in "non-native" contexts, are a direct product of such linguistic 
alchemy. Such knowledge will help to foster a better understanding and 
toleration for varieties and diversity within the English family of languages 
around the globe. 

Such an understanding can also have repercussions in the area of 
literary criticism. It is of utmost importance that critics of literary works have 
a good grasp of the theory and implications of language variation and change. 
This should help to avoid the type of intolerance and rigidity towards 
variations in language use that characterize many a critical work. As I have 
mentioned elsewhere in this study, the type of heavy-handedness to which 
Tutuola's works have been subjected, as a result of the peculiarities of his 
language, would not have shown itself had such critics had a basic 
understanding of the theory of language contact, with its explanation of 
changes that take place as a part of the normal process of acculturation and 
nativization. 

Studies of the type in which I have been engaged here also have 
obvious implications for second language learning and teaching. This is 
particularly true with regard to the teaching of English as a second language 



144 

(ESL), especially within the Nigerian context. ESL teachers must have an 
understanding that languages change as they journey to new destinations and 
take up new life in different geo-cultural milieus. In fact, I propose that 
courses in language variation and change be included in the curriculum of 
those who are trained to become ESL teachers in places (such as Nigeria) 
where English is not a mother tongue. The knowledge acquired from such 
courses will help teachers handle the idiosyncracies they may come across in 
their students' usage in the ESL classroom. Instead of handling the 
interlanguge grammar of their students with unbending rigidity, (cf. Lado 
1957, Selinker 1972, 1992; Cook 1993) they will be able to look beyond such 
"interferences" (cf. Weinreich 1953) and "deviations" and see these so-called 
"errors of usage" as normal steps in the learning process. They will also 
understand that learners and speakers of a transplanted language, as is the 
case with English in Nigeria, cannot, and should not be expected to use the 
language in exactly the same way as speakers for whom it is a first language, 
and for most, probably the only language. Most Nigerian (and in fact, African) 
users of English are multilingual and for a great majority of them English 
comes along as either a second, third or even fourth language, in order of 
acquisition. With understanding of changes that result from language contact, 
ESL teachers will understand that it is quite preposterous to expect their 
students to speak and use English exactly the same way as a British or 
American monolongual speaker uses English. Achebe's and Rao's unequivocal 
and unapologetic response to such an unrealistic expectation are worth 
repeating here. 

So my answer to the question, Can an African ever learn English well 
enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing? is certainly 
yes. If on the other hand you ask: Can he ever learn to use it like a 
native speaker? I should say, I hope not. It is neither necessary nor 
desirable for him to be able to do so (Achebe: 1965: 29-30). 



145 



Achebe's statement echoes that of another creative writer in English from far 
away India who wrote with similar convictions more than two decades before 
him. Rajah Rao's deep seated conviction is captured in two brief but strong 
sentences: "We cannot write like the English. We should not." (Rao 1943: vii). 

Another issue this raises is that of the often heard and debated 
argument about what constitutes the English literary canon. Since African 
writers and others in the "Outer Circle" (to borrow Kachru's terminology), 
have written in English and have been able to excel at this, receiving 
international recognition, awards and encomiums, we are forced to have to 
face the issue of the English literary canon, which has hitherto been mainly 
Euro-centric. It probably is about time (as Kachru and other users of the so- 
called non-native varieties of English have been advocating for years now) to 
reconsider a revision of this canon to include the works of other non-native 
speakers of English. This call is for a more inclusive and diversified canon, 
especially since the latter serves as the basis of our judgment and criticism of 
works written in English language. 

This question about the English literary canon brings us to another 
very important issue in ESL pedagogy, theory, methodology, and materials 
development. Let us first consider the issue of models and norms. ESL teachers 
must recognize that the British or even the American model of English is no 
longer valid nor practical as a sole guide for speaking and writing English in 
nations like Nigeria, where new models have evolved due to nativization and 
acculturation (see Kachru 1982, 1987 for further discussions on models and 
norms for non-native varieties of English). The implication of this on the 
pragmatics of teaching English as an international language is also far- 
reaching, as it has repercussions on the teaching of English for specific 
purposes (ESP) and communicative language teaching(CLT). The ESL teacher 



146 



of the so-called non-native varieties of English must come to grips with the 
reality of change in norms and models in those places where English has 
acquired new life and flavor in new contexts and environments. The 
implications of this will also reverberate in the areas of ESL teaching 
materials, methodology as well as in language testing and evaluation. Just as 
the British model cannot be the model taught in American classrooms, neither 
should it be the sole model used for teaching English in Nigeria. This is 
actually a very sensitive issue in ESL teaching in Nigeria today. Here English 
teachers who do not themselves speak the British model of English 
nevertheless still expect their students to speak like the British. Since this is 
practically impossible, a lot of students receive bad grades in English, which 
consequently impedes their academic progress and educational attainment 
since English is still the language of academic and social mobility in the 
country. 

A further understanding of the relationship between the two or more 
languages spoken by students in developing countries will make it apparent 
that there is a need for a revision of outmoded English curricula and syllabi 
throughout the nation. What I am proposing here is that, along with the 
current texts used as models of English in the country, stories by Tutuola and 
his likes should also be read. 

It is not a secret that the English used in Nigeria today is no longer the 
English that the Christian missionaries and British colonial authorities 
brought into the region during the early years of the nineteenth century. The 
very face of English has changed a lot since then, whether in Nigeria or in its 
original homeland of Britain. It is a well established linguistic fact than 
languages change with time, and Nigerian English is clearly no exception. ESL 



147 



teachers must be open to new ideas and new findings about language, and 
ready to use what they learn as they teach. 

On a final note, not only does this dissertation have implications for the 
teachers of English to Yoruba speakers, but also to teachers of Yoruba to 
English speakers, both in Nigeria and abroad. It should lead to a better 
understanding and appreciation of the internal workings of both languages 
and how to successfully teach those learning them as a second language. It is 
my hope that work along these lines will eventually facilitate communication 
and understanding at both regional and global levels. Such studies can, I 
think, not only contribute to a better appreciation of Tutuola's works, but to a 
better understanding of Nigerian English as a whole, and to the ongoing effort 
to define the corpus of Nigerian English within the larger framework of the 
International Corpus of English (ICE). In practical terms it should contribute 
to a better understanding of the influence of the mother tongue (LI) on the 
acquisition of a second language (L2) in general and English as a second 
language (ESL) in particular, and finally may foster a better understanding of 
the important contributions indigenous languages are making to English 
worldwide and in so doing, enriching the latter while changing its face 
globally. 



APPENDIX 



aspect Habitual 

quote My father got eight children and I was the 
eldest among them, all of the rest were hard 
workers, but I myself was an expert palm- 
wine drinkard. I was drinking palm-wine 
from morning till night and from night till 
morning. 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 7 



YL maa n 
B E used to 



NE was drinking 



aspect Habitual 

quote So my father gave me a palm-tree farm which 
was nine miles square and it contained 
560,000 palm-trees, and this palm-wine 
tapster was tapping one hundred and fifty 
kegs of palm-wine every morning... 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 7 



YL maa n 
B E used to 



NE was tapping 



aspect Habitual 

quote So my friends were uncountable by that time 
and they were drinking palm-wine with 
me from morning till a late hour in the night 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 7 



YL maa n 
B E habitually 



NE were drinking 



aspect Habitual 

quote When I saw that there was no palm- wine for 
me again, and nobody could tap it for me, 
then I thought within myself that old people 
were saying that the whole people who had 
died in this world, did not go to heaven 
directly... 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 9 



YL 
BE 



maa n 
used to 



NE were saying 



148 



149 



aspect Habitual 

quote I was seven years old before I understood the 
meaning of "bad" and "good", because it was 
at that time I noticed carefully that my father 
married three wives as they were doing in 
those days, if it is not common nowadays 



YL maan NE were doing 

B E used to 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote My mother was a petty trader who was 

going to various markets every day to sell 
articles and returning home in the evening, 
or if the market is very far she would return 
next day in the evening 



YL maan NE was going 

B E used to 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote But as my mother was a petty trader who was 
going here and there, so one morning she 
went to a maket which was about three miles 
away from our town... 



YL maan NE was going 

B E used to 



aspect Habitual 

quote [...] She left two slices of cooked yam for us 

(my brother and myself) as she was usually 
doing 



YL maan NE was usually doing 

B E usually 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 17 



book title LBG 
page 17 



book title LBG 
page 18 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 18 



150 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote [...] I never drank water since I left my 

brother or since I entered into the "Bush of 
Ghosts", but they gave me urine as it was 
their water which they were storing in a 
big pot, of course I refused to drink it as well 



YL maan NE were storing 

BE usually 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote It was in this town I saw that they had an 

"Exhibition of Smells". All the ghosts of this 
town and environs were assembling yearly 
and having a special "Exhibition of Smells" 
and the highest prizes were given to one who 
had the worst smells and would e recognized 
as a kine since that dav... 

YL maan NE were assembling 

B E habitually 



aspect Incompletive 

quote I thought within myself that old people were 
saying that the whole people who died in this 
world, did not go to heaven directly, but they 
were living in one place somewhere in this 
world. 



YL n NE were living 

B E continue to 



aspect Anticipative 

quote After that he would go and tap another 75 
kegs in the evening which I would be 
drinking till morning. 



YL maa NE would be drinking 

B E would 



book title LEG 
page 34 



book title LEG 
page 35 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 9 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 7 



151 



aspect Relevant-inceptive 

quote But when my palm-wine tapster completed 
the period of 15 years that he was tapping 
the palm- wine for me, then my father died 
suddenly, and when it was the 6th month 
after my father had died, the tapster went to 
the palm-tree farm on a Sunday evening to 
tan nalm-wine for me. 

NE was tapping 



YL 



BE 



ti n 



had been 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 8 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Then I told the old man (god) that I am 

looking for my palm-wine tapster who had 
died in my town some time ago, he did not 
answer to my question but asked me first 
what was my name? 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 10 



YL 
BE 



n 

was 



NE am looking for 



aspect Incompletive 

quote So that since the day that I had brought Death 
out from his house, he has no permanent 
place to dwell or stay, and we are hearing 
his name about in the world. 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 16 



YL n NE are hearing 

BE continue to/still 



aspect Habitual 

quote The market day was fixed for every 5 th day 
and the whole people of that town and also 
spirits and curious creatures from various 
bushes and forests were coming to this 
market every 5th day to sell or buy articles. 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 17 



YL maa n NE were coming 

B E habitually 



152 



aspect Anticipative 

quote By 4 o'clock in the evening, the market would 
close for that day and then everybody would 
be returning to his or her destination or to 
where he or she came from. 



YL maa NE would be returning 

B E would 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote So, one day she went to the market on a 

market-day as she was doing before, or to 
sell her articles as usual; on that market-day, 
she saw a curious creature in the market, but 
she did not know where the man came from 
and never knew him before. 

YL maan NE was doing 

B E used to 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote But as she was following the complete 

gentleman along the road, he was telling 
her to go back or not to follow him, but the 
lady did not listen to what he was telling her 
and when the complete gentleman had tired 
of telling her not to follow him or to go back 
to her town, he left her to follow him. 

YL n NE was telling 

B E repeatedly told 



aspect Incompletive 

quote When I travelled with him a distance of about 
twelve miles away to that market, the 
gentleman left the really road on which we 
were travelling and branched into an endless 
forest and I was following him ... 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 17 



book title PWD 
page 18 



book title PWD 
page 19 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 26 



YL n NE was following 

B E followed 



153 



aspect Incompletive 

quote He picked one cowrie out of the pit, after that 
he was running towards me, and the whole 
crowd wanted to tie the cowrie on my neck 
too. 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 27 



YL 
BE 



n 

ran 



NE was running 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Immediately the whole Skull family heard the 
whistle when blew to them, they were 
rushing out to the place and before they 
could reach there, I had left their hole for the 
forest ... 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 28 



YL 
BE 



n 

rushed 



NE were rushing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote I was told that he was now at "Deads' town" 
and they told me that he was living with 
deads at the "Deads' town", they told me that 
the town was very far away and only deads 
were living there. 



author Tutuola 
book title PWD 
page 41 



YL n 

B E lived 



NE was living/were living 



aspect Incompletive 

quote After a while he came out with two of his 
attendants who were following him to 
wherever he wanted to go. Then the 
attendants loosened me from the stump, so he 
mounted me and the two attendants were 
following him with whips in their hands 
and floggine me alone in the bush. 

YL n NE were following 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 37 



BE 



followed 



154 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Having finished the corn another terrible 
ghost whose eyes were watering all over his 
body and his large mouth faced his back 
brought urine which was mixed with 
limestone to me to drink as thery were not 
using ordinary water there because it is too 
clean for them. 



YL 



BE 



n 



did not use 



NE were not using 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 39 



aspect Incompletive 

quote And the worst part of these punishments was 
that as I was tied in the sun all the young 
ghosts of this village were mounting me 
and getting down as if I am a tree as they 
were very surprised to see me as a horse. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 39 



YL n NE were mounting 

B E kept mounting 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As it was very dark at that time, so I was 

staggering or dashing into trees along 
the way when he was returning to his town, 
and it was almost one o'clock midnight before 
we reached his town. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 39 



YL n 

B E staggered or 



NE staggering or dashing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But after I ate some of this food he changed 
me again to the form of a camel and then his 
sons were using me as transport to carry 
heavy loads to long distances of about twenty 
of forty miles. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 40 



YL n NE were using 

BE used 



155 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But when the rest of the smelling-ghosts 
noticed that I was useful for such purpose 
then the whole of them were hiring me 
from my boss to carry loads to long distances 
and returning again in the evening with 
heavier loads. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 40 



YL 
BE 



n 

hired 



NE were hiring 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But as soon as he went away I saw where he 
hid the juju which he was using to change 
me to any animal or creature that he likes, so 
I took it and put it into my pocket so that he 
might not change me to anything again. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 40 



YL 
BE 



n 

used 



NE was using 



aspect Habitual 

quote God is so good, he did not remember to take 

the juju when he came out from the house, he 
thought that he had already put it inside the 
pocket of his leathern trousers which he was 
always belting with a big boa constrictor ... 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 40 



YL maa n 

B E always belted 



NE was always belting 



aspect Habitual 

quote Of course as a stream crossed the road on 

which we were travelling to this pasture so 
I was drinking the water from it when going 
early in the morning and alsowhen 
returning in the evening and I was feeding 
only on this water as food. 



YL maa n 
B E travelled 



NE were travelling 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 44 



156 



aspect Habitual 

quote Of course as a stream crossed the road on 

which we were travelling to this pasture so I 
was drinking the water from it when going 
early in the morning and also when 
returning in the evening and I was feeding 
only on this water as food. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 44 



YL maa n 
BE drank/fed 



NE was drinking/was feeding 



aspect Habitual 

quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs 
and also illtreat me as they were treating 
wild or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much 
pain and still I was unable to eat the grasses 
or to be doing as other cows were doing. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 44 



YL 
BE 



maa n 
treated 



NE were treating 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs 
and also illtreat me as they were treating wild 
or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much 
pain and still I was unable to eat the grasses 
or to be doing as other cows were doing. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 44 



YL 
BE 



n 

felt 



NE was feeling 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Then they started to flog me with heavy clubs 
and also illtreat me as they were treating wild 
or stubborn cows, so I was feeling much pain 
and still I was unable to eat the grasses or to 
be doing as other cows were doing. 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 44 



YL n NE were doing 

BE did 



157 



aspect Incompletive 

quote So when these cow-men were returning to 
their town in the evening with me as no one 
bought me on that market day again, they 
were abusing and clubbing me repeatedly 
along the homeway. 



YL n NE were returning 

B E returned 



aspect Incompletive 

quote So when these cow-men were returning to 
their town in the evening with me as no one 
bought me on that market day again, they 
were abusing and clubbing me 
repeatedly along the homeway. 



YL n NE were abusing and clubbing 

B E abused/ clubbed 



aspect Anticipative author Tutuola 

quote And also the mosquitoes which were as big as 
flies did not let me rest once till the morning, 
but I had no hands to be driving them away 
from my body ... 



YL maa NE be driving 

B E drive 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But as this snake was also fearful to me too, 
then I was crying louder than before, and 
when the "homeless-ghost" was hearing my 
voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music for 
him, then he started to dance the ghosts' 
dance ... 

YL n NE was crying 



author Tutuola 
book title L6G 
page 45 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 45 



book title LBG 
page 46 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 50 



B E cried 



158 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But as this snake was also fearful to me too, 
then I was crying louder than before, and 
when the "homeless-ghost" was hearing 
my voice inside this wood, it was a lofty music 
for him, then he started to dance the ghosts' 
dance ... 



author Tutuola 
book title LBG 
page 50 



YL n 
B E heard 



NE was hearing 



aspect Habitual 

quote He would kill many goats for his gods, he 

would sacrifice a large number of cocks and 
plenty of palm oil to the witches ~ those old 
and weary mothers who were sleeping 
always in the dark rooms — the windowless 
and unventilated rooms which surrounded 
the comnound. 

YL "maan NE were sleeping 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 9 



BE 



sleep 



aspect Habitual 

quote And under the ground of this jungle, there 

were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which 
the people were making trays, bowls, gods, 
idols. They were also making the cudasses, 
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were 
dug out from there. All these things were 
attracting the neonle to force themselves to 

YL maan NE were making 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 11 



BE 



made 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote And under the ground of this jungle, there 

were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which 
the people were making trays, bowls, gods, 
idols. They were also making the cudasses, 
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were 
dug out from there. All these things were 
attracting the neonle to force themselves to 

YL maan NE were also making 

BE also made 



book title BAH 
page 11 



159 



aspect Habitual 

quote And under the ground of this jungle, there 

were metals as brass, copper, etc., with which 
the people were making trays, bowls, gods, 
idols. They were also making the cutlasses, 
knives, hoes, etc., from the iron which were 
dug out from there. All these things were 
attrartine the neonle to force themselves to 



YL maa n 
B E attracted 



NE were attracting 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 11 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As a great number of the people were 

perishing in this jungle every year, then 
the people of about fifty towns made a 
meeting between themselves to go there and 
kill all the wild animals, etc., and all the 
pigmies. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 12 



YL n 

B E perished 



NE were perishing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Of course all hunters believed that the 

pigmies were living in there but they did 
not know the real part of it in which they 
were living. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 12 



YL n 

BE lived 



NE were living 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Of course all hunters believed that the 

pigmies were living in there but they did not 
know the real part of it in which they were 
living. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 12 



YL n 

BE lived 



NE were living 



160 



aspect Habitual 

quote As from that time he was going to hunt in 
this jungle regularly. But he was still in great 
sorrow because as he was going there he did 
not see any trace of his sons at all. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 12 



YL 
BE 



maa n 
went 



NE was going to hunt 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As from that time he was going to hunt in this 
jungle regularly. But he was still in great 
sorrow because as he was going there he did 
not see any trace of his sons at all. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 12 



YL n 

BE went 



NE was going 



aspect Incompletive 

quote So since that day he bacame a farmer. He was 
planting his food as yam, cassava, corn, 
pepper, etc. But as he was the head of all the 
hunters who were always coming to his house 
for advices about the wild animals, dangerous 
creatures, etc. 



YL 
BE 



n 

planted 



NE was planting 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 14 



aspect Habitual 

quote So since that day he bacame a farmer. He was 
planting his food as yam, cassava, corn, 
pepper, etc. But as he was the head of all the 
hunters who were always coming to his 
house for advices about the wild animals, 
dangerous creatures, etc. 



YL maa n 

B E always came 



NE were always coming 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 14 



161 



aspect Completive 

quote So whenever those hunters were coming to 
his house, they were coming there with many 
smoked small animals which they killed in 
the jungle and they would give them to him 
as presents and thus they were giving him 
the animals every day. 

YL unmarked NE were coming 

BE came 



aspect Habitual 

quote So whenever those hunters were coming to 
his house, they were coming there with 
many smoked small animals which they killed 
in the jungle and they would give them to 
him as presents and thus they were giving 
him the animals every day. 

YL maa n NE were coming 

BE came 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote So whenever those hunters were coming to 

his house, they were coming there with many 
smoked small animals which they killed in 
the jungle and they would give them to him 
as presents and thus they were giving him 
the animals every day. 

YL maan NE were giving 

BE gave 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote When I overheard from this woman and 
when I ran back home, I sat closely to my 
father. Then I was thinking seriously in 
my mind whether my father had had another 
sons before I was born. 



YL n NE was thinking 

B E thought 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 14 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 14 



book title BAH 
page 14 



book title BAH 
page 15 



162 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote When my father explained to me like that 

with laugh, I told him again that I would first 
kill all of the wild animals before I would 
start to find where the pigmies were living 
in the jungle. 



YL n NE were living 

B E lived 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote He said that this animal had a kind of two 
fearful eyes which had a kind of powerful 
light. The ray of the light was round and was 
moving along with this animal as it was 
going along. The light of the eyes never 
quenched at any time but it (light) could not 
travel far. 

YL maa n NE was moving 

B E moved 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote He said that this animal had a kind of two 
fearful eyes which had a kind of powerful 
light. The ray of the light was round and was 
moving along with this animal as it was 
going along. The light of the eyes never 
quenched at any time but it (light) could not 
travel far. 

YL n NE was going 

B E went 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote After I did all these things I knelt down 

before those hunters. As they were praying 
for me that ~ "Though you are a lady and you 
are still young to go and hunt in the Jungle of 
the Pigmies, but as you are going there or 
volunteer your life to go there for the benefit 
of this town and others..." 

YL n NE were praying 



book title BAH 
page 16 



book title BAH 
page 16 



book title BAH 
page 16 



book title BAH 
page 20 



BE 



prayed 



163 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As I was going along the whole people were booktitleBAH 
following me and the hunters were shooting page 20 

their guns repeatedly. The people who were 
not hunters were telling me loudly -- "Come 
back, don't go to the Jungle of the Pigmies, it 
is a bad jungle!" but I did not listen to them, I 
was iust eoine on as hastilv as I could. 

YL n NE was going 

B E went 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As I was going along the whole people were 
following me and the hunters were 
shooting their guns repeatedly. The people 
who were not hunters were telling me loudly 
~ "Come back, don't go to the Jungle of the 
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle!" but I did not listen 
to them. T was iust eoine on as hastilv as T 

YL n NE were following 

B E followed 



book title BAH 
page 20 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I was going along the whole people were 
following me and the hunters were 
shooting their guns repeatedly. The people 
who were not hunters were telling me loudly 
~ "Come back, don't go to the Jungle of the 
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle!" but I did not listen 
to them. T was iust eoine on as hastilv as T 



YL 
BE 



n 

shot 



NE were shooting 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 20 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I was going along the whole people were 
following me and the hunters were shooting 
their guns repeatedly. The people who were 
not hunters were telling me loudly — 
"Come back, don't go to the Jungle of the 
Pigmies, it is a bad jungle!" but I did not listen 
to them. I was iust eoine on as hastilv as T 

YL n NE were telling 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 21 



BE 



told 



164 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As I was going along the whole people were book title BAH 

following me and the hunters were shooting page 21 

their guns repeatedly. The people who were 
not hunters were telling me loudly - "Come 
back, don't go to the Jungle of the Pigmies, it 
is a bad jungle!" but I did not listen to them, I 
was iust eoine on as hastilv as T could. 

YL n NE was just going 

B E went 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote This was the junction of roads that which 

used to confuse the stranger, because I did not 
know which of these roads to travel to the 
jungle. Then I stopped there and I was 
thinking in mind how to distinguish the 
right one which led to the jungle. 

YL n NE was thinking 

B E thought 



book title BAH 
page 22 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As I was following them to the river, they 
were telling me that I should be talking to 
them very softly because if "Odara" the giant 
like or cyclops-like creature as I could 
describe him and who was the owner of this 
semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else, 
would rome out and kill us. 

YL n NE was following 

BE followed 



book title BAH 
page 24 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I was following them to the river, they 

were telling me that I should be talking to 
them very softly because if "Odara" the giant- 
like or cyclops-like creature as I could 
describe him and who was the owner of this 
semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else, 
would rome out and kill us. 



YL 
BE 



n 

told 



NE were telling 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 24 



165 



aspect Anticipative 

quote As I was following them to the river, they 

were telling me that I should be talking to 
them very softly because if "Odara" the giant- 
like or cyclops-like creature as I could 
describe him and who was the owner of this 
semi-jungle, heard my voice or any one else, 
would rome out and kill us. 

NE should be talking 



YL 



BE 



maa 



talk 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 25 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As these hunters were still telling me the 

story of "Odara" as we were going along to 
the river, there we were hearing faintly, the 
noises which were coming from a long 
distance. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 25 



YL 
BE 



n 

went 



NE were going 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As these hunters were still telling me the 

story of "Odara" as we were going along to the 
river, there we were hearing faindy, the 
noises which were coming from a long 
distance. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 25 



YL n 

B E heard 



NE were hearing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote The noises were just as if thousands of 
hooligans were foiling their cruel and 
merciless leader to some place where they 
were going to cause harm to several people. 
Then these hunters who had already known 
the attitudes of "Odara" listened to the noises 
as we were still coine alone. 

YL n NE were still going 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 25 



BE 



still went 



166 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote A few minutes more, these noises were 

approaching us nearer and thus the noises 
were approaching us more and more until the 
hunters were quite sure that "Odara" and his 
followers were coming to that direction. 



YL n NE were approaching 

B E approached 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote This tree was not far from the road so that I 
might see "Odara" and his followers clearly 
when they were passing along through 
that place. 



YL n NE were passing 

B E passed 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As they were going along as hastily as they 
could it was so they were looking at back 
always just to see whether their leader, 
"Odara" was approaching nearer. 



YL n NE were going 

B E went 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As they were going along as hastily as they 
could it was so they were looking at back 
always just to see whether their leader, 
"Odara" was approaching nearer. 



book title BAH 
page 25 



book title BAH 
page 25 



book title BAH 
page 26 



book title BAH 
page 26 



YL n NE were looking 

B E kept looking 



167 



aspect Incompletive 
quote 



When "Odara" came nearer all the hills and 
trees were shaking, his voice was hearing 
all over the jungle. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 27 



YL 
BE 



n 

heard 



NE was hearing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote And as he was still shouting greatly I saw him 
clearly. He was too terrible indeed to be seen 
for a human being, and I feared him so much 
that I did not know when I opened my mouth 
and the spit was dropping down. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 27 



YL n NE was dropping 

B E began to droop 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As he was chasing us along it was so he was 
throwing his cudgels to us repeatedly until 
we came to the road that which went along to 
those hunters' town. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 30 



YL 
BE 



n 

chased 



NE was chasing 



aspect Habitual 

quote But as it was only one slender stick was put 

across the river with which the people of the 
town were crossing it so after we crossed it 
to the second side and when "Odara" walked 
on this slender stick to the middle of the river 
with greediness. 



YL maa n 
B E crossed 



NE were crossing 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 31 



168 



aspect Incompletive 

quote The stick broke into two and then fell into the 
water unexpectedly, because he was heavier 
than what the stick could hold. But as "Odara" 
was so greedy and cruel was that as he was 
struggling very hardly to come out from 
the water it was so he was still throwing his 
noisonous rudeels at us. 

YL n NE was struggling 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 31 



B E struggled 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote They were following us along and they book tlt,eBAH 

were looking at me with great wonder when page 32 

they saw that I put the gun and hunting bag 
on my left shoulder like a hunter. They were 
asking from one another that -- "Is this a 
young lady huntress?" 

YL n NE were following 

B E followed 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote They were following us along and they were book title BAH 

looking at me with great wonder when they page 32 

saw that I put the gun and hunting bag on my 
left shoulder like a hunter. They were asking 
from one another that -- "Is this a young lady 
huntress?" 

YL n NE were looking 

B E kept looking 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote They were following us along and they were book title BAH 

looking at me with great wonder when they page 32 

saw that I put the gun and hunting bag on my 
left shoulder like a hunter. They were 
asking from one another that — "Is this a 
young lady huntress?" 

YL n NE were asking 



BE 



asked 



169 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote Then the whole people did not laugh or talk book title BAH 

but they were looking at me with sadness page 33 

until when their king asked from me again 
whether I knew the kinds of the cruel and 
harmful creatures, apart from the wonderful 
wild animals, who were living in this jungle. 

YL n NE were looking 

B E looked 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote Then the whole people did not laugh or talk book t,t,e BAH 

but they were looking at me with sadness page 33 

until when their king asked from me again 
whether I knew the kinds of the cruel and 
harmful creatures, apart from the wonderful 
wild animals, who were living in this 
iunele. 

YL n NE were living 

B E lived 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote They were closing the doors and windows 
immediately they were entering their houses. 
All the domestic animals were running here 
and there and they were hiding themselves as 
well. All the fires which were at outsides of 
the houses before that time were quenched 
with water at once before these neonle 

YL n NE were closing 

B E began to close 



book title BAH 
page 34 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote They were closing the doors and windows 
immediately they were entering their 
houses. All the domestic animals were 
running here and there and they were 
hiding themselves as well. All the fires which 
were at outsides of the houses before that time 
were auenched with water at onre before 

YL n NE were entering 

B E entered 



book title BAH 
page 34 



170 



aspect Anticipative 

quote He was still finding me with hands when I 
asked from him that why there was no light 
at all in this palace. But instead to answer my 
question first he warned me very quiedy that 
I must be talking gendy. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 34 



YL maa 

B E should talk 



N E must be talking 



aspect Incompletive 

quote He told me furthermore that this bird was a 

mighty and curious one, because whenever it 
was coming to the town the noises and 
breeze of its wings would nearly to break 
down all the houses. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 36 



YL 
BE 



n/ ti n 
came 



NE was coming 



aspect Habitual 

quote Truly speaking, as the king had told me, when 
this bird was still in a distance of two miles I 
nearly died for fear and I nearly to give up 
my promise because the noises which its 
wings were making showed that indeed it was 
a bad and terrible bird which was bold 
enough that it was eating together with 



YL 
BE 



maa n 
ate 



NE was eating 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 37 



aspect Habitual 

quote "I am a wonderful bad creature who is half 
human and half bird. I am so bad, bold, cruel 
and so brave that I am eating together with 
witches! I am one of the fears of the Jungle 
Pigmies! I am a bad semi-bird who has long 
sharp thorns on both my wings!..." 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 38 



YL 



maa n 



N E am eating 



BE 



171 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote Again as he was coming down for the second book title BAH 

time with great anger I shot him. But when page 39 

the gun-shots hit his body this time, his body 
simply flung all the gun-shots away instead 
to kill him or to wound him. It was like that I 
was shooting him repeatedly until when 
the gun-nowder and sun-shots finished. 

YL n NE was shooting 

BE shot 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote Immediately I held the cudgel and I was 

expecting him to come down as he was doing 
before. A few minutes after that he did not 
hear the sound of my "shakabullah" gun 
again, he flew down. 



YL maa n NE was doing 

B E used to do 



book title BAH 
page 39 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As he was looking round and round all over book title BAH 

the spot just to find me out and then to carry page 39 

me away, I hastily threw one of the poisonous 
cudgels to him. 



YL n NE was looking 

B E looked 



aspect Anticipative author Tutuola 

quote After he (king) pulled out some of the wings 
and put them round his crown, just to be 
remembering for ever that a semi-bird had 
once been carrying them away alive, then 
each of the people took some of the feathers 
to his or her house and kept them for the 
future. 

YL maa NE be remembering 

B E remember 



book title BAH 
page 40 



172 



aspect Incompletive 

quote After the whole people had seen the dead 

body of this semi-bird and went beck to their 
houses, then I took the two poisonous cudgels 
and my "shakabullah" gun and I went back to 
the palace. So as from that day the king and 
his people were taking great care of me as 
if T was their dauehter. 

YL n NE were taking 

BE took 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote The same day, he gave me the knife with 

which to clear the hairs off and I started to 
clear it at once. But as I was clearing it, it was 
so he was warning me repeatedly not to let 
the knife touch the two horns or if the knife 
touched them he would feel pain even nearly 
to death. 

YL n NE was warning 

B E warned 



aspect Incompletive 

quote At last when I believed that I would die in a 
few days time, then I went to an old man 
whose house was far away from the palace of 
the king. I told him that I did not know the 
reason why I was leaning more and more 
every day. 

YL n NE was leaning 

B E grew lean 



aspect Habitual 

quote Therefore, I took out one wonderful juju from 
my hunting bag. This juju was the very one 
which my father had been using 
whenever he was going to this Jungle of the 
Pigmies. 



YL maa n NE had been using 

B E had used 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 40 



book title BAH 
page 42 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 43 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 48 



173 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Therefore, I took out one wonderful juju from 
my hunting bag. This juju was the very one 
which my father had been using whenever 
he was going to this Jungle of the Pigmies. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 48 



YL 
BE 



n 

went 



NE was going 



aspect Incompletive 



quote 



YL 
BE 



But when the darkness did not me to see 
again, then I stopped, I climbed a big tree and 
I slept on its branches till the daybreak. But 
when I came down in the morning, I did not 
travel so far when I was seeing the jungle 
of the Pigmies far away from me. 



n 

saw 



NE was seeing 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 48 



aspect Habitual 

quote He was so short that he did not reach my waist 
and this showed me that he was a pigmy. His 
heavy head was helping him indeed 
whenever he wanted to kill a powerful 
creature because once he hit that creature 
with it, it would die at once. 



YL 
BE 



maa n 
helped 



N E was helping 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 50 



aspect Incompletive 

quote He always held one heavy cudgel which had a 
very big round head. And as he was talking 
to me it was so he was looking at the big 
round head of this cudgel and after a few 
minutes he would glance at my own head, and 
this showed me that he was thinking in mind 
that he was eoine to beat mv head with this 

YL n NE was talking 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 51 



BE 



talked 



174 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote He always held one heavy cudgel which had a book tlt,e BAH 

very big round head. And as he was talking to page 51 

me it was so he was looking at the big round 

head of this cudgel and after a few minutes he 

would glance at my own head, and this 

showed me that he was thinking in mind that 

he was going to beat mv head with this 
YL n NE was looking 

B E kept looking 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote But it was a great surprise to him when he book t,t,e BAH 

saw that my body did not even touch the rock page 53 

before I stood upright and I was telling him 

loudly -- "Cat never touch the ground with its 

back whenever it falls!" When he was 

hearing what I was saying repeatedly he 

became more angrv and he ran to me and 
YL n NE was hearing 

B E heard 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote After I travelled in this jungle for a few 
minutes -- the great fears, wonders, and 
uncountable of undescriptive strange things, 
which I was seeing here and there were 
stopped me by force. 



YL n NE was seeing 

BE kept seeing 



book title BAH 
page 55 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote I sat on one of its branches and as it was a 
leafy tree therefore these leaves were 
covered me and I peeped out very seriously as 
when an offender peeped out from the small 
window of his cell. Then I was looking at 
these handiworks of God with great wonder. 

YL n NE was looking 

B E looked 



book title BAH 
page 55 



175 



aspect Incompletive 

quote The birds of the sky were perched on the 
branches of the mighty tall trees, except 
those of the minute birds as canaries, 
migratory birds, etc., etc., which were 
jumping from one branch to another. 
Although the doves were crying in five 
minutes interval as thev were telline the 

NE 



YL 



BE 



n 



were crying 



kept crying 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 56 



aspect Incompletive 

quote The birds of the sky were perched on the 
branches of the mighty tall trees, except 
those of the minute birds as canaries, 
migratory birds, etc., etc., which were 
jumping from one branch to another. 
Although the doves were crying in five 
minutes interval as thev were telline the 
NE were telling 



YL 



BE 



n 



told 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 56 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Because their hoot was driving animals to the 
hunters and it (hoot) was also amusing the 
hunters as they (hunters) had no partners in 
the jungle. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 56 



YL n 

B E amused 



N E was also amusing 



aspect Habitual 
quote 



YL 



And all these creatures were kept quiet where 
they were for the sun was too hot. Because the 
sun of this jungle was also very curious. 
Whenever it was out it would be as hot as fire 
and that was why these living creatures 
were hiding themselves from it whenever 
it was out. 

maa n N E were hiding 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 56 



BE 



hid 



176 



aspect Incompletive 
quote 



YL 



BE 



When I sat on the branch of this tree and I 
did not see any living creature to move or 
walk about by that time and as the jungle was 
as calm as if there were none living 
creatures, then I was enjoying the peaceful 
cool breeze which my cerator was sending to 
me. 

n NE was enjoying 

enjoyed 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 56 



aspect Incompletive 
quote 



As this thick smoke was rushing out in 
large quantity it was so the sweet smell of 
food was rushing out as well and this showed 
me that many of the pigmies who were the 
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were 
living under the ground. 



YL n 

B E rushed 



NE was rushing 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 56 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in large book t,tle BAH 

quantity it was so the sweet smell of food was page 56 

rushing out as well and this showed me that 
many of the pigmies who were the 
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were 
living under the ground. 

YL n NE was rushing 

B E rushed 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As this thick smoke was rushing out in large DOok tlt,eBAH 

quantity it was so the sweet smell of food was page 57 

rushing out as well and this showed me that 
many of the pigmies who were the 
inhabitants and owners of this jungle were 
living under the ground. 

YL n NE were living 

B E lived 



177 



aspect Incompletive 

quote After a while all the trees were blowing 
here and there, they were touching the 
ground with their tops. As I still held the 
branch of the tree on which I was so tightly 
that I might not fall down, the wild animals, 
as lions, tigers, wolves, etc., came to that spot. 

YL n NE were blowing 

B E began to blow 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I still held the branch of the tree on which 
I was so tightly that I might not fall down, the 
wild animals as lions, tigers, wolves, etc., 
came to that spot. As they were running to 
and fro, they raised up their heads and they 
were sniffing my smell. 

YL n NE were running 

BE ran 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I still held the branch of the tree on which 
I was so tightly that I might not fall down, the 
wild animals as lions, tigers, wolves, etc., 
came to that spot. As they were running to 
and fro, they raised up their heads and they 
were sniffing my smell. 

YL n NE were sniffing 

B E sniffed 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As they were surrounded the tree closely it 
was so the strong wind was forcing it to 
touch the ground repeatedly. Each time that it 
touched the ground thesewild animals were 
hastily jumping to where I sat on the branch, 
but they were unable to touch me before the 
tree would stand unrieht aeain. 

YL n NE was forcing 

B E forced 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 57 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 57 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 57 



book title BAH 
page 57 



178 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As they were surrounded the tree closely it book t,tle BAH 

was so the strong wind was forcing it to touch page 57 

the ground repeatedly. Each time that it 

touched the ground these wild animals were 

hastily jumping to where I sat on the 

branch, but they were unable to touch me 

before the tree would stand unrieht aeain. 
YL n NE were hastily jumping 

BE hastily jumped 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote It was like these wild animals were book t,tle BAH 

j umping to me every time that the tree was page 58 

bending down and getting up again .Luckily 
they were unable to take me away from the 
top of this tree until when the strong wind 
was stopped at about seven o'clock in the 
evenine. 

YL n NE were jumping 

B E jumped 



aspect Incompletive 

quote It was like these wild animals were jumping 
to me every time that the tree was bending 
down and getting up again .Luckily they were 
unable to take me away from the top of this 
tree until when the strong wind was stopped 
at about seven o'clock in the evening. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 58 



YL 
BE 



n 

bent 



N E was bending 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote It was like these wild animals were jumping book title BAH 

to me every time that the tree was bending page 58 

down and getting up again .Luckily they 
were unable to take me away from the top of 
this tree until when the strong wind was 
stopped at about seven o'clock in the evening. 

YL n NE getting up 



B E got up 



179 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Of course, I was woken very early in the 
morning with great fear of the numerous 
birds which were surrounded me and they 
were crying repeatedly because I was 
curious to them. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 59 



YL n 

BE cried 



NE were crying 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But to my fear these birds were still 

following me and they were crying with 
their loudest voices. I was running away from 
them so that they might not suspect me to 
those super-human creatures. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 59 



YL n 

B E still followed 



NE were still following 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But to my fear these birds were still following 
me and they were crying with their loudest 
voices. I was running away from them so that 
they might not suspect me to those super- 
human creatures. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 60 



YL n 

B E cried 



NE were crying 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But to my fear these birds were still following 
me and they were crying with their loudest 
voices. I was running away from them so 
that they might not suspect me to those 
super-human creatures. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 60 



YL 
BE 



n 

ran 



NE was running 



180 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote It was like that I was travelling along and I 
was looking here and there perhaps I would 
see my four brothers in respect of whom I 
came to hunt in this jungle, till the light of 
the sun came down to all over the jungle 
when it was about nine o'clock and then I 
stormed. 

YL n NE was travelling 

B E travelled 



aspect Relational author Tutuola 

quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I 
began to think in mind whether to kill the 
whole of the wild animals first ... or to be 
looking for where the pigmies were living in 
this jungle first before I would come back to 
kill those wild animals. 

YL ti NE ate 

BE had eaten 



aspect Anticipative author Tutuola 

quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I 
began to think in mind whether to kill the 
whole of the wild animals first ... or to be 
looking for where the pigmies were living 
in this jungle first before I would come back 
to kill those wild animals. 

YL maa NE be looking for 

B E look for 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote After I ate the procupine to my satisfaction, I 
began to think in mind whether to kill the 
whole of the wild animals first ... or to be 
looking for where the pigmies were living 
in this jungle first before I would come back 
to kill those wild animals. 

YL n NE were living. 



book title BAH 
page 60 



book title BAH 
page 60 



book title BAH 
page 60 



book title BAH 
page 60 



B E lived 



181 



aspect Relevant-Inceptive 

quote Because I ought to do all these three works ~ 
"To see that I... kill the whole of the pigmies 
who were detaining many hunters or to 
drive them away from this jungle and the 
third work was to see that I bring my four 
brothers back to my town, because I had 
nromised mv neonle and the neonle of mv 



YL 
BE 



ti n 

had been 



N E were detaining 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 60 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote But immediately I concluded this thought, to 
my fear there I saw that a very small round 
hill which was at a little distance from me, 
splitted or parted into two suddenly and at the 
same moment a heavy black smoke was 
rushing out in large quantity. 

YL n NE was rushing 

B E rushed 



book title BAH 
page 61 



aspect Incompletive 

quote This huge man was one of the "obstacles" of 
this jungle. He was one of the strongest and 
the most cruel pigmies who were keeping 
watch of the jungle always. His work was to 
be bringing any hunter or anyone who came 
to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies, for 
nunishment. 



YL 
BE 



n 

kept 



NE were keeping 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 61 



aspect Anticipative author Tutuola 

quote This huge man was one of the "obstacles" of book title BAH 

this jungle. He was one of the strongest and page 61 

the most cruel pigmies who were keeping 
watch of the jungle always. His work was to 
be bringing any hunter or anyone who 
came to the jungle, to the town of the pigmies, 
for nunishment. 

YL maa NE be bringing 

BE bring 



182 



aspect Relevant-Inceptive 

quote His arms were very long and thick. He had a 
big half fall goitre on his neck and he had a 
very big belly which, whenever he was 
going or running along, would be shaking 
here and there and sounding heavily. 



YL ti n N E was going or running 

B E went or ran 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 61 



aspect Relevant-Inceptive author Tutuola 

quote We first wresded for about fifteen minutes. book title BAH 

And each time that he was flinging me page 62 

away with great anger, to his surprise, I was 
standing up and gripping him before my feet 
were touching the ground. 

YL ti n NE was flinging 

BE flung 



aspect Completive author Tutuola 

quote We first wresded for about fifteen minutes. Dook t,t,e BAH 

And each time that he was flinging me away page 62 

with great anger, to his surprise, I was 
standing up and gripping him before my feet 
were touching the ground. 

YL unmarked NE were touching 

B E could touch 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote Again, as he was still looking on, I ran to the book title BAH 

tree on which I leaned the two poisonous page 63 

cudgels, I took one and with all my power I 
beat "obstacle" with it, for I thought the 
poison of this cudgel would kill him. 



YL n NE was still looking on 

B E still looked on 



183 



aspect Incompletive 

quote When he cut it off I fell down at once and I 
was crying loudly for pain. As I was doing 
like that and blaming myself that if I had 
known I should had not come to the Jungle of 
the Pigmies, he came and stood at my front. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 63 



YL n 
B E cried 



NE was crying 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Then I held the tree under which we were 

fighting with all my power. He was pulling 
me with all his power but I did not loose my 
hands away from this tree. As he was trying 
hardly to take me away it was so I was 
shouting greatly that you would not take me 
awav and he too was saving that at all costs he 

YL n NE was pulling 



BE pulled 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 64 



aspect Incompletive 



quote 



YL 
BE 



Then I held the tree under which we were 
fighting with all my power. He was pulling 
me with all his power but I did not loose my 
hands away from this tree. As he was trying 
hardly to take me away it was so I was 
shouting greatly that you would not take me 
awav and he too was savine that at all costs he 



n 

tried 



NE was trying 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 64 



aspect Incompletive 

quote But God was so good as he was dragging me 
along as hastily as he could he did not know 
when he hit his head on the branch of a tree 
which was full of bees and wasps. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 64 



YL n NE was dragging 

B E dragged 



184 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote But as he was defending himself it was so book title BAH 

these insects were increasing and stinging page 64 

him badly. As he was still staggering here 

and there I hastily ran back to the tree on 

which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with 

plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran 

bark to him and T shot him on the head. 
YL n NE were increasing 

B E increased 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote But as he was defending himself it was so Dook title BAH 

these insects were increasing and stinging page 64 

him badly. As he was still staggering here 
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on 
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with 
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran 
bark to him and T shot him on the head. 

YL n NE were increasing 

B E increased 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote But as he was defending himself it was so 

these insects were increasing and stinging 
him badly. As he was still staggering here 
and there I hastily ran back to the tree on 
which I leaned my gun. I loaded it with 
plenty of gun-powder and gun-shots, I ran 
bark to him and T shot him on the head. 

YL n NE stinging 

BE stung 



book title BAH 
page 64 



aspect Relational author Tutuola 

quote After I killed "obstacle" I travelled in this Dook tit,e BAH 

jungle till six o'clock in the evening. As I was page 65 

travelling along it was so I was killing all the 
wild animals that I was seeing on the way. 



YL ti NE killed 

BE had killed 



185 



aspect Incompletive 

quote After I killed "obstacle" I travelled in this 
jungle till six o'clock in the evening. As I 
was travelling along it was so I was killing 
all the wild animals that I was seeing on the 
way. 



YL n NE was travelling 

B E travelled 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote After I killed "obstacle" I travelled in this 

jungle till six o'clock in the evening. As I was 
travelling along it was so I was killing all the 
wild animals that I was seeing on the way. 



YL n NE was seeing 

BE saw 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and 

long that whenever he was eating a person 
who was in two miles away would be hearing 
the noises which they were making. 



YL n NE was eating 

BE ate 



aspect Habitual 

quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and 
long that whenever he was eating a person 
who was in two miles away would be 
hearing the noises which they were 
making. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 65 



book title BAH 
page 65 



book title BAH 
page 66 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 66 



YL maa n NE would be hearing 

B E would hear 



186 



aspect Incompletive 

quote The teeth of his mouth were so plenty and 
long that whenever he was eating a person 
who was in two miles away would be hearing 
the noises which they were making. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 66 



YL n 

BE made 



N E were making 



aspect Incompletive 



quote 



YL 



BE 



Even as the teeth and the horns of his mouth 
and head were so fearful many of the wild 
animals who saw him when he was coming 
to kill them with all these things were dying 
for themselves before he would reach them 
instead to kill them with his teeth and horns, 
because thev were too fearful to them. 

NE 



n 



came 



was coming 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 66 



aspect Incompletive 



quote 



YL 
BE 



Even as the teeth and the horns of his mouth 
and head were so fearful many of the wild 
animals who saw him when he was coming to 
kill them with all these things were dying 
for themselves before he would reach them 
instead to kill them with his teeth and horns, 
because thev were too fearful to them. 



n 

died 



NE were dying 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 66 



aspect Incompletive 

quote The powerful light that these eyes were 

bringing out could not go far or straight but 
they were bringing out the clear and round 
light. The ray of this light was always round 
him and it could be seen clearly from a long 
distance. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 66 



YL n 

B E brought 



NE were bringing 



187 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote The powerful light that these eyes were book title BAH 

bringing out could not go far or straight but page 66 

they were bringing out the clear and 
round light. The ray of this light was always 
round him and it could be seen clearly from a 
long distance. 

YL n NE were bringing 

BE brought 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote He had a kind of a terrible shout with which book title BAH 

he was frightening the animals and his page 66 

humming was also terrible to hear. All the 
rest animals were so hated and feared that 
they never went near the place that he 
travelled for one week. 

YL n NE was frightening 

BE frightened 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote He first sighted all his horns towards me and 
then he was running to me as fast as he 
could. But when I thought within myself that 
if I stood on the ground and shot him, he 
would kill me instantaneously, because my 
"shakabullah" gun would not be able to kill 
him in one shot, therefore T hastilv climbed a 

YL n NE was running 

BE ran 



book title BAH 
page 67 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote And it was this day that I believed that -- the 
half killed snake is the most dangerous. 
Because this animal was then shrieking and 
shouting and humming more terribly with 
angry voice than ever. His fearful humming 
was hearing all over the jungle. 

YL n NE was hearing 

B E was heard 



book title BAH 
page 68 



188 



aspect Incompletive 

quote So as was running furiously towards me 

with all his power and when he was about to 
reach me, I hastily leapt again to my right 
unexpectedly and unfortunately he simply 
butted the stump of that tree. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 68 



YL 
BE 



n 

ran 



NE was running 



aspect Relational 

quote After I rested for a few minutes then I 

started to beat him with my poisonous cudgel 
until when he was completely powerless and 
then he died after some minutes. It was like 
that I killed this "super-animal" as I could 
call him. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 69 



YL 
BE 



ti 

had rested 



N E rested 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it 
was so I was killing all the wild animals 
which I was seeing on the way. And in a few 
days time I killed the whole of them. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 69 



YL 
BE 



n 



NE was killing 



kept killing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it 
was so I was killing all the wild animals 
which I was seeing on the way. And in a 
few days time I killed the whole of them. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 69 



YL 
BE 



n 

saw 



NE was seeing 



189 



aspect Relational 

quote As I was looking for this boa constrictor it 
was so I was killing all the wild animals 
which I was seeing on the way. And in a few 
days time I killed the whole of them. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 69 



YL ti 

BE had killed 



NE killed 



aspect Habitual 

quote So when I believed that it would help me in 
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal 
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that 
day I was using it in the night as my light 
and I was wearing it on on the head 
whenever I was hunting. So this wonderful 
head became a verv useful thine at last. 



YL maa n 
B E have used 



N E was using 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 70 



aspect Habitual 

quote So when I believed that it would help me in 
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal 
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that 
day I was using it in the night as my light and 
I was wearing it on on the head whenever I 
was hunting. So this wonderful head became 
a verv useful thine at last. 



YL maa n 

B E have worn 



N E was wearing 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 70 



aspect Incompletive 

quote So when I believed that it would help me in 
future I wrapped it with the skin of animal 
and I kept it in my hunting bag. As from that 
day I was using it in the night as my light and 
I was wearing it on on the head whenever I 
was hunting. So this wonderful head 
became a verv useful thine at last. 

YL n NE was hunting 

BE went hunting 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 70 



190 



aspect Relational 
quote 



YL 
BE 



Of course I saw several small animals on my 
way coming to these rocks but I did not 
attempt to kill any one of them for my food 
because I had tired of eating animals every 
day, for I did not see another thing to eat 
since when I had entered this jungle. 



ti 

entered 



N E had entered 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 73 



aspect Incompletive 

quote In my dreams, all these terrible images, etc., 
were chasing me about to kill. It was so they 
were troubling me until one of them which 
was the skeletons of a giant caught me and as 
he wanted to stab me at belly, so I woke with 
great fear... 

YL n NE were troubling 

BE kept troubling 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 73 



aspect Habitual 

quote When I woke up I went to the spot where 
there were plenty of wild grasses. As I 
believed that these kind of grasses were 
always holding the dew which was falling 
down from the sky in the night. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 73 



YL 
BE 



maa n 
always held 



N E were always holding 



aspect Habitual 

quote When I woke up I went to the spot where 
there were plenty of wild grasses. As I 
believed that these kind of grasses were 
always holding the dew which was falling 
down from the sky in the night. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 73 



YL maan NE was falling 

BE fell 



191 



aspect Incompletive 

quote After I ate the fruits and I was still hearing 
the noises I thought within myself that 
perhaps if I kept longer than that in this spot 
some of the creatures who were living 
under this rock might come out and when 
they met me there they might kill me. 



YL n 

B E lived 



NE were living 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 74 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I was going along it was so I was stumbling 
my right foot thumb on the ground after a 
few minutes interval and this was a very bad 
omen. Again several birds were flying past 
my head and everyone of them was striking 
my eyes with its wings and this was a very 
bad sign indeed. 

NE were flying 



YL 



BE 



n 



flew 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 74 



aspect Incompletive 

quote I did not know whether as these squirrels 

were barking at me repeatedly their noises 
were suspecting me to these small animals 
and by that they were hiding themselves 
before I was travelling to where they were. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 74 



YL n 

B E barked 



NE were barking 



aspect Incompletive 

quote I did not know whether as these squirrels 
were barking at me repeatedly their noises 
were suspecting me to these small animals 
and by that they were hiding themselves 
before I was travelling to where they 
were. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 74 



YL 
BE 



n 

travelled 



NE was travelling 



192 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Having done so I bagan to keep watch of the 
animals. Of course as I was doing this thing 
it was so I was thinking in mind of all the 
signs which I had seen on the way before I 
travelled to this tree 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 75 



YL 
BE 



n 

did 



N E was doing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote Whenever he was walking very hastily 
along, this navel would be shaking and 
sounding heavily as when the water was 
shaking in a large tube and it appeared on his 
belly as if a very large bowl covered the 
belly. 



YL 
BE 



n 

walked 



N E was walking 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 77 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As he was following me along and flogging 
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting 
horribly on me - "Thief! thief! thief! I catch 
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but 
one day is for the owner to catch the thief!" It 
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was 
shourine on me ereaflv. 



YL n 

BE followed 



NE was following 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 77 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As he was following me along and flogging 
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting 
horribly on me - "Thief! thief! thief! I catch 
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but 
one day is for the owner to catch the thief!" It 
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was 
shourine on me erearlv. 



YL n 

B E flogged 



NE flogging 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 77 



193 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As he was following me along and flogging 
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting 
horribly on me -- "Thief! thief! thief! I catch 
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but 
one day is for the owner to catch the thief!" It 
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was 
shouting on me ereatlv. 

YL n NE was shouting 

B E shouted 



book title BAH 
page 77 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As he was following me along and flogging 
me repeatedly, it was so he was shouting 
horribly on me -- "Thief! thief! thief! I catch 
you today. All days are for thief to thieve but 
one day is for the owner to catch the thief!" It 
waslike that this stern huge pigmy was 
shoutine on me ereatlv. 

YL n NE was shouting 

B E shouted 



book title BAH 
page 77 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote When this punishment was too severe for me book title BAH 

then I became powerless to walk after a short page 77 

time. I was unable to go along any longer. 
When he saw this, he started to push me along 
with his fearful large navel and I was 
staggering along powerlessly. 

YL n NE was staggering 

B E staggered 



aspect Incompletive 

quote When he heard all these words from me the 
punishment which he was then giving me 
was more severe than before. It was like that 
he was pushing me along with his navel as 
hastily as he could until when he pushed me 
to these vast rocks and mountains and without 
hesitation he nushed me like this into one of 

YL n NE was pushing 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 78 



BE 



pushed 



194 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As he was still pushing me along they were book tlt,eBAH 

rushing to me just to kill or swallow me but page 78 

when they saw that it was this pigmy who was 
pushing me along, they would not do 
anything to me but they were parting to both 
sides of the road for us to pass. 

YL n NE were rushing 

BE rush 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote I believed that all these creaturtes were also Dook title BAH 

the keepers of this road. They were killing page 78 
and eating all the enemies of these pigmies. 



YL maa n NE were killing and eating 

B E killed and ate 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote As the attitudes of these creatures were too 
horrible for me as we were meeting them 
on this road, so whenever I feared and ran to 
either sides of the road, this pigmy would 
whip me very severely at the same time and 
then he would shout greatly that — "just be 
going along, vou don't see wonders vet. vou 

YL n NE were meeting 

BE met 



book title BAH 
page 78 



aspect Habitual author Tutuola 

quote This ape was as strong as a giant. Of course he book title BAH 

was not tall but he was so stout that he was page 79 

easily opening and closing the door of 
this gate. 



YL maa n NE was easily opening and closing 

B E opened & close 



195 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As this pigmy was pushing me along in the 
town, uncountable pigmies like himself were 
shouting on me ~ "Ah, this is another one of 
the thieves of animals!" They were making a 
mock and deriding of me, and it was so I was 
breathing quickly and audible because I was 
so tired that T was unable to move mv feet ... 

NE was pushing 



YL 



BE 



n 



pushed 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 80 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As this pigmy was pushing me along in the 
town, uncountable pigmies like himself were 
shouting on me - "Ah, this is another one of 
the thieves of animals!" They were making a 
mock and deriding of me, and it was so I was 
breathing quickly and audible because I 
was so tired that I was unable to move mv feet 

NE was breathing 



YL 



BE 



n 



breathed 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 80 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As he was pushing me along I noticed that the 
domestic animals of this town were 
outnumbered the pigmies and this showed me 
that they were not killing these animals 
for their food at all. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 80 



YL 
BE 



n 

did not kill 



N E were not killing 



aspect Anticitpative 

quote After he handed my property to the king and 
another pigmy put them on the ceiling and 
the king thanked him greatly and advised 
him as well to be going round the jungle 
every day and night and bringing all hunters 
or huntresses he might see in the jungle ... 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 81 



YL 



maa 



N E be going 



BE 



go round 



196 



aspect Anticipative 

quote After he handed my property to the king and 
another pigmy put them on the ceiling and 
the king thanked him greatly and advised 
him as well to be going round the jungle 
every day and night and bringing all hunters 
or huntresses he might see in the jungle ... 



YL maa 
BE bring 



NE bringing 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 81 



aspect Completive 

quote As he was pushing me along to the custody 
thousands of pigmies were surrounded me 
and they were looking at me with great 
surprise. Not as I was a huntress but because 
I was taller than everyone of them. They 
raised up their heads and were saying ~ how 
a nerson was so tall as this. 

YL unmarked NE were surrounded 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 82 



BE 



surrounded 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As he was pushing me along to the custody 
thousands of pigmies were surrounded me 
and they were looking at me with great 
surprise. Not as I was a huntress but because 
I was taller than everyone of them. They 
raised up their heads and were saying -- 
how a nerson was so tall as this. 

YL n NE were saying 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 82 



BE 



said 



aspect Incompletive author Tutuola 

quote Because they themselves were not more than book title BAH 

three or four feet tall. And I too bent my head page 82 

downward and I was looking at each of 
them with great surprise that how a person 
was as short as this. 



YL n NE was looking at 

B E looked at 



197 



aspect Habitual 

quote There were many big and deep wells 

everywhere in the town in which they were 
storing their palm-oil. Everyone of them 
with his own family were living together in 
each of these small houses. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 82 



YL maa n 
B E stored 



NE were storing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote There were many big and deep wells 

everywhere in the town in which they were 
storing their palm-oil. Everyone of them with 
his own family were living together in 
each of these small houses. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 82 



YL 
BE 



n 

lived 



NE were living 



aspect Habitual 

quote Then this stern pigmy told him concisely that 
I was one of the hunters who were stealing 
away their animals from their jungle. 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 83 



YL 
BE 



maa n 
stole 



NE were stealing 



aspect Incompletive 

quote As I stood in one place and I was noticing 
all these things and as I was just thinking in 
mind that in a few months to come, I too 
would become as dirty and in nakedness as 
these people or perhaps I would be killed in a 
few days time. There I saw a very weak man ... 



YL 
BE 



n 

noticed 



N E was noticing 



author Tutuola 
book title BAH 
page 87 



REFERENCES 



Abimbola, Wande (1998). "A Preference for City Life." In CALLIOPE: World 

History for Kids Vol. 8, no. 6, February 1998. Rosalie F. Baker, Charles F. 
Baker (Eds.). Peterborough: Cobblestone Publishing Company. 

Achebe, Chinua (1958). Things Fall Apart. London: Heinemann. 

Achebe, Chinua (1960). No Longer at Ease. London: Heinemann. 

Achebe, Chinua (1965). "English and the African Writer." In Transition 18: 27- 
30. 

Achebe, Chinua (1966). "The English Language and the African Writer." In 
Insight, October/December 1966. 

Adegbija, E. (1989). "Lexico-semantic Variation in Nigerian English", World 
Englishes Vol. 8, no. 2: 165-177. 

Adegbija, E. (1994). Language Attitudes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A 
Sociolinguistic Overview. Bristol: Longhorn Press. 

Adejare, O. (1992). Language and Style in Soyinka. Ibadan: Heinemann. 

Adekunle, M. A. (1972). "Sociolinguistic Problems in English Language 

Instruction in Nigeria". In D. Ed. Smith and R. Shuy, Sociolinguistics and 
Cross-cultural Analysis. Washington D. Ci Georgetown University Press. 

Adekunle, M. A. (1974). "The Standard Nigerian English". In Journal of the 
Nigeria Enghsh Studies Association (JNESA) 6(1). 

Adekunle, M. A. (1985). The EngHsh Language in Nigeria as a Modern Nigerian 
Artifact. Jos, Nigeria: University of Jos Press. 

Adesanoye, F. (1990). "Tertiary (Graduate) English in Nigeria: Some 

Observations". In OYE: Ogun Journal of Arts vol. III. Ago-Iwoye: Ogun 
State University. 

Adetugbo, A. (1979). "Appropriateness in Nigerian Enghsh" & "Nigerian 
Enghsh and Communicative Competence". In E. Ubahakwe (Ed.). 
Varieties and Functions of English in Nigeria, pp. 137-165 & 167-183 
respectively. Ibadan: African Universities Press. 

Adetugbo, A. (1984). The EngUsh Language in the Nigerian Experience. Lagos: 
Lagos University Press. 



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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 
Timothy Temilola Ajani grew up in Ghana where he also completed his 
elementary education before his parents returned to Nigeria in the late 1960s. 
Back in Nigeria, he attended the Nigerian Military School, Zaria from 1974 to 
1979. On graduating from the Military School, he was sponsored by the 
Nigerian Army to study French at the University of If§, Ile-If£ (now Cbafemi 
Awolowo University) where he obtained his Bachelors degree with honors in 
French in June 1983. He did his mandatory National Youth Service as a French 
lecturer at the Ondo State College of Education, Ikere-Ekiti from 1983 to 1984. In 
March 1985 he took a job with the Cyo State Schools' Board and taught French 
at the Ikolaba Grammar School, Agodi, Ibadan until September 1988. 

In October 1988 he won a French Government Ministry of Foreign 
Affairs scholarship to study Applied Linguistics at the Universite de la 
Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III). He obtained his MA and D.E.A. (M.Phil, 
equivalent) degrees in December 1990 and October 1991 respectively. While 
studying for his graduate degrees, he also taught Yoruba at the Institut 
National des Langues et Civilizations Orientales (INALCO) in Paris. 

At the tail end of Tim's D.E.A. degree, he gained admission into the 
University of Florida's Program in Linguistics (PIL) to study for his Ph.D. 
degree. He earned his graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a Second 
Language (TESL) from the PIL in May 1993 and his ABD in the Spring of 1996 
when he was received into doctoral candidacy. While a graduate student in the 
PIL, Temi taught Yoruba and African Humanities courses at the Department of 
African and Asian Languages and Literatures (AALL); African Experience and 



211 



212 



Introduction to African Literature classes at the Center for African Studies 
(CAS) and English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at the English Language 
Institute (ELI). Tim also taught African Cultures and Literature courses as an 
Adjunct Instructor at Central Florida Community College (CFCC), Ocala during 
the Spring of 1998 and Fall of 1999. He has also been a regular instructor for 
African Literatures and Cultures, and Humanities at the CAS annual Summer 
Institute for K-12 teachers from 1997 until the present. In the Fall of 1998 and 
the Spring of 1999, he was a Consultant in African Cultures and Humanities at 
the Valencia Community College, Orlando, Florida. 

For three consecutive summers in 1996, 1997 and 1998, Tim was an 
examiner and interviewer for the CAS Tide VI Intensive Advanced Yoriiba and 
Hausa Group Project Abroad (GPA) program in Nigeria. He was a member of the 
Editorial Board of FOCUS on Linguistics (the University of Florida Working 
Papers in Linguistics) in the Spring of 1994 and a language Consultant in an 
Anthropological Linguistics Field Methods class during the Spring of 1995 and 
1997. He served as the Interim President of the African Students' Union during 
the 1997/98 academic year. He is currendy an internal reviewer for African 
Studies Quarterly (ASQ), the electronic journal of the UF Center for African 
Studies and was a reviewer for Al-'Arabiyva . the journal of the American 
Association of Teachers of Arabic in the Spring of 1995. In October 1996, Tim 
won the UF College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) Doctoral Dissertation 
Fellowship to do research in Nigeria in the summer of 1997. In April 2000, he 
won an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award (given annually to 
international students who have demonstrated excellence in the pursuit of 
their degree at the University of Florida). 



213 



Tim married Funmi in London, England in December 1994. Their 
marriage has been blessed with two sons, Ayoola Ilerioluwa and Ibukun 
Olubusola, born on February 15, 1996 and October 27, 2000 respectively. 



I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms 
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is full} 
scope and quality, as a dissertation fort] 




I certify that I have^-read this^tudy antfthat in my opinion it conforms 
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in 
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 



Man o. htek&l 



Marie Nelson 
Professor of Linguistics 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms 
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in 
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the dejgTpe of Doctor of Philosophy. 




sagrande 
sor of Linguistics 

I certify that I have read this st/dy£and that in my opinion it conforms 
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in 
scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 




Diana Boxer 
Associate Professor of Linguistics 

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms 
to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in 
scope and quality, as a dissertation for thesdegree of Doctor of yPhilpfpphy. 






Schmidt 
Professor of Anthropology 

This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Program 
in Linguistics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate 
School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the 
degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 



May 2001 



Dean, Graduate School 




■ v .01. 

. ft vz 



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 




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